If you’re a vegetarian or any other type of non-meat-eater, I’d like to start this column by saying I realize National Hamburger Month isn’t for everyone. Then again, May also happens to be National Salad Month — and no one here is passing any judgements on you for that. So I hope we can all approach May with tolerance and understanding in regard to each other’s lifestyle choice in eating preferences.
Although let’s be honest; mine is better because it has bacon on it.
Most people don’t know that hamburgers have actually been around since the time of Genghis Khan, whose riders would shove pieces of meat under their saddles to create minced meat patties through the combination of heat and friction while riding. In fact, historians speculate Khan’s empire may not have spread so quickly had he preferred his burgers rare instead of well done. But that’s just a theory. It’s also worth noting that one rider began adding carrots and onions to the meat under his saddle during longer distances to create the first rump roast.
Ok fine, I made that last part up.
But clearly, the hamburger has come a long way since then, depending on which fast food restaurant you eat at. Which is why National Hamburger Month isn’t about the kind of burger that comes in a box and looks like it was actually sat on by Genghis Khan. It’s about those gourmet burgers that are so big, so delicious and so full of extras that eating them is a life-changing experience. And not just in terms of developing a heart condition. Although if you don’t feel a little light headed after eating one, you’re probably not doing it right.
The hamburger is like the culinary equivalent of what it means to be American: bold, exciting, full of variety, all resting on two big buns. I consider myself a connoisseur, approaching a well-crafted burger the same way I would a piece of art.
Except without all the embarrassing salivating.
That’s because, like great art, a great burger is the result of thoughtful consideration over every detail to ensure that the sum total is a cohesive masterpiece. Wrong kind of onion? Or cheese that’s too mild? Maybe the barbecue sauce overpowers the bacon?
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll still eat that kind of failure. I’m just saying…
As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I plan on making the most of National Hamburger Month by visiting my favorite spots for the best burgers in town. Chances are you won’t recognize me at any of them because, in many cases, the burgers are bigger than my face. At least initially. And by that I just mean my face will definitely be getting burger… I mean bigger… as the month goes on. For those of you choosing to wait for National Burger Day on May 28 because of your dedication to fitness, I applaud your self-control.
Or at least I will once I’m done eating this bacon cheeseburger.