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The Hidden History of Regional Burgers

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Aug 10, 2020
The Hidden History of Regional Burgers

Welcome to our summer cookout spectacular episode! First, we dive into the world of regional burgers with George Motz, America’s foremost burger historian. He explains the Germanic origins of the burger, and gives us a tasting tour of America’s regional hamburgers, including the Mississippi Slugburger, the Cuban Frita, and the Connecticut Steamed Cheeseburger. And he walks us through his recipe for one of his signature burgers: the Oklahoma fried onion burger. You can check out his whole series, Burger Scholar Sessions, on YouTube.  

George’s tip for making a great fried onion burger: 80% lean ground beef, use a flat top griddle instead of a grill, and slice those onions super thin so they cook quickly with the beef.  

Then, we’ll get an incredible burger recipe from chef Jehangir Mehta, inspired by Indian street food, that involves 25% mushrooms. And J. Kenji Lopez-Alt stops by for a debate that’s sure to spark conversation at your next socially distanced outdoor gathering: is potato salad a salad? 

Kenji's latest book is Every Night is Pizza Night, which comes out on September 1st. It's a cookbook for 4-7 year olds, and it's about discovering diversity and inclusivity. If you purchase the book using this link, Kenji's entire sales commission will go toward COVID relief meals.

Update: In the episode, we note that Graffiti Earth is in the process of moving. Since we recorded the episode, Jehangir Mehta told us that the restaurant is now back in the East Village.

Interstitial music in this episode by Black Label Music:

  • "Still In Love With You" by Steve Sullivan
  • "Party Hop" by Jack Ventimiglia
  • "Trip With You" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt
  • "When You're Away" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt
  • "Slightly Carbonated" by Erick Anderson
  • "Happy Rider" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt
  • "Back in Kindergarten" by Henry Donato

Photo courtesy of George Motz.

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