Big Joe Henry honors the cheeseburger
It was recently National Cheeseburger Day. I usually have this day circled on my calendar as I do most national food days. This year though, we’re all in a bit of a flux. I’m out of sorts, disjointed.
The cheeseburger deserves a rightful place in the hierarchy of food. McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, Steak n Shake, Five Guys and on and on, all made trillions of dollars selling the cheeseburger as a staple item on their menu.
I have become somewhat of a cheeseburger snob. I admit it. I am no longer a fan of the fast food cheeseburger. I want the “real” thing. The fresh ground beef has to be 80% with 20% fat, 10 ounce patty hand made with a slight indentation in the middle and generously seasoned with salt and pepper before grilling, the cheddar cheese has to be WisPride, slightly heated, simple toppings, and a great fresh kaiser roll and cooked a perfect medium rare. Oh my!
That’s all I need. I’m a good cook, I’m also a pretty decent grill master on the outdoor grill but my friend TD is a grill king, untouchable, I have bowed to him and his cooking ways. He gladly hops behind my grill and cooks the perfect cheeseburger and I get to reap the benefits of that sensational delicacy.
Folklore has the hamburger being created in the late 1800s out on the vast grasslands of the Great Plains of western United States when farmers and cowboys ate a lesser cut of meat chopped up with bread. Farmers added cheese and that’s when the origin of this national treat was born. There are a couple of restaurants out west that take credit for the creation of the cheeseburger in the 1920’s but I’m not buying it. I’m sure there was somebody who combined these delectable ingredients in ancient times.
The cheeseburger is a big part of American folklore even having a hit song in its honor, Jimmy Buffett’s Cheeseburger in Paradise. There’s no hit songs about roast beef, tuna fish or pot roast. Have you heard anybody singing about grilled cheese?
As many of you know I’m a big fan of the restaurants here in New Jersey, and I have my favorite places to grab a cheeseburger when the restaurants were open and thriving. Three places I go for a great cheeseburger are Barnacle Bills, The Celtic Cottage and Trama.
I did some burger intelligence and found out that a local meat distributor provides the meat to two of my favorite burger restaurants and that distributor also carries the special cheddar cheese that one uses. Say no more. I bought 12 lbs of that burger meat and a tub of that cheese, formed burgers into 10 ounce patties and wrapped them safe enough for a lunar launch. They now reside in my freezer ready, willing and able to fulfill my cheeseburger fix at the quick of a thaw!
Don’t take the cheeseburger for granted. It’s a great easy dinner item that can be gussied up with all kinds of toppings and sides. It’s the dinner that keeps on giving. Hail the cheeseburger! Enjoy.