While the origins of the hamburger patty are unclear, the history of the hamburger bun is a bit more well-known. We got curious about its origins and decided to explore the history of the hamburger bun and its evolution into the ubiquitous meat vessel we know and love.
The Origins of the Hamburger
Before we dive into the history of the hamburger bun, let’s take a quick look at the history of the hamburger itself. The origins of the hamburger are somewhat disputed, but most historians believe that it was first created in the United States in the late 19th or early 20th century. There are a few different stories about how the hamburger came to be, but most agree that it was originally served without a bun.
Early Hamburger Buns
The hamburger bun, as we know it today, is thought to have been created in the early 20th century. One popular story is that the first hamburger bun was created in 1916 by a fry cook named Walter Anderson, who worked at a diner in Wichita, Kansas. According to the story, Anderson was frustrated with having to serve hamburgers on slices of bread that would often fall apart. To solve this problem, he created a bun specifically designed for hamburgers.
Another story suggests that the first hamburger buns were created by a bakery in St. Louis, Missouri, in the early 1900s. The buns were reportedly created as a way to help the bakery use up its surplus supply of hot dog buns. The story goes that a local burger chain, White Castle, began using the buns for their hamburgers and the idea caught on.
Regardless of who created the first hamburger bun, it’s clear that the idea caught on quickly. By the 1920s, hamburger buns were a common sight at diners and fast food restaurants across the United States.
The Genius of the Hamburger Bun
Over the years, the hamburger bun has undergone several changes and adaptations. For example, in the 1930s, the sesame seed bun was introduced, which is still a popular choice today. In the 1950s, a new type of bun was introduced called the “club roll,” which was longer and could hold more toppings than the traditional round bun.
In the 1970s, the first “gourmet” hamburger buns were introduced. These buns were made with higher-quality ingredients and were often sold at more upscale restaurants. Today, there are countless varieties of hamburger buns available, from gluten-free options to brioche buns.
The history of the hamburger bun is a fascinating one, from its humble beginnings as a solution to a messy problem, the hamburger bun has evolved into a staple in everywhere from Burger King, to your local farm to table restaurant, to the world famous Jean-Geroges. Whether you prefer a classic sesame seed bun or a trendy artisanal bun, there’s no denying the importance of the hamburger bun in the world of food.