Happy National Cheeseburger Day 2014!

Happy National cheeseburger day! Did you celebrate?

Whether you buy them, make them, or add crazy ingredients to them, today is the day we raise our hands and give thanks for the magical combination of beef, bun, and cheese. How did National cheeseburger day begin, anyway?

One story that has seemed to last the years is the story of 16-year-old Lionel Sternberger (of course).

“The story claims that the cheeseburger was created between 1924 and 1926 by Sternberger, A homeless man dining at Sternberger’s restaurant (his father’s, called the Rite Spot0 in Pasadena, Calif., suggested the addition of a slice of cheese to his hamburger order. Sternberger complied, eventually added it to his menu, and the rest is history.”

It was called the cheese hamburger.

However, there are some that claim the cheeseburger wasn’t created until 1934 in Louisville, Kentucky’s Kaelin’s restaurant, per the Louisville, Kentucky government website.

The earliest example of a cheeseburger listed on a menu is Los Angeles’ O’Dell’s restaurant. They sold a cheeseburger, smothered in chili, for 25 cents, per the L.A. Metropolitan News-Enterprise archives.

In 1935, Louis Ballast of the Humpty-Dumpty Drive-In in Denver, Colorado, was awarded what is considered the first trademark for the cheeseburger, per cheese-burger.net. However, Gus Belt, founder of Steak and Shake, claims to have applied for the trademark sometime in the 1930s, per the National Calendar Day website.

Whichever is the true and correct, cheeseburgers have become a favorite amongst Americans. According to Answers.com, the average American eats around 50 to 150 cheeseburgers a year. To answer Clara Peller, there’s the beef.

A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey found that 74 percent of Americans prefer homemade burgers to restaurant burgers, and the same percentage prefer cheese on their hamburgers, out of 1,000 caller responses. There is a website dedicated to the love of all things cheeseburger, www.cheeseandburger.com, which lists dozens of recipes that cheeseburger lovers can try at home.

For those who eschew meat, Morningstar Farms and Gardenburger make vegetarian burgers to enjoy. And for vegans, there are plenty of recipes for burgers and soy cheeses to buy to everyone can enjoy and take part in National cheeseburger day. The veggie burgers made with black beans are usually quite good.

So, whether you want to stay home and fire up the grill, or go out to your favorite burger joint and partake (such as In-N-Out for a four by four from their secret menu), enjoy your meal, and enjoy National cheeseburger day!!

Oh, would you like fries with that?