Whats in a name?
Hamburgers are traditionally or colloquially known as a cooked meat patty with some salad vegetables and condiments served between two halves of a bread bun.
How then have we ended up with: 1. Cheese-burger, 2. Vege-burger, 3. Rice-burger, etc.
Wouldn’t these be 1. A slice of cheese with some salad vegetables and condiments served between 2 halves of a bread bun; 2. Vegetables with some salad vegetables and condiments served between 2 halves of a bread bun; etc. Why are they all known as ‘burgers’?
How have we ended up with such a convoluted name for a simple dish?
Really it’s a cooked meat patty sandwich with salad or a cooked meat patty sandwich with cheese!
The name appears to have originated in Germany and was included as a recipe in 1758 as "Hamburgh sausage", and was suggested that it be served "roasted with toasted bread under it".
A similar snack was also popular in Hamburg with the name "Rundstuck warm" meaning warm bread roll in 1869 or earlier, and supposedly eaten by many emigrants on their way to the Americas.
Also, what does a hamburger come with – is it served with or without beetroot? (some say it’s not a hamburger unless it has beetroot included!) They all seem to be served differently.
Where did vege-burgers come from – these are cooked vegetables pressed into the shape of a round patty, then grilled & served on the bun with more veg (the salad). Why wasn’t this called a veg-patty sandwich? I’m sure many vegetarians would like to be distanced as far as possible from anything sounding like an animal product and would therefore prefer a name other than ‘burger’.
The French have decided to end all of this confusion and have the traditional or colloquially known name as the final description. No more vege-burgers, vege-sausages or anything with vegetables being described or called ‘steak’. Hamburgers, sausages and steak have to be meat based. They have decided that labelling products in that manner is misleading & is leading to confusion amongst purchasers. There are also large fines for non-compliance!
There is also suggestion that the French may move to limit the use of ‘dairy’ terms as well. That should mean that there is no more Almond Milk or Rice Milk or Soy Cheese.
Do we need to be that literal?
Are consumers being misled?
Or is all this re-naming putting undue pressure on manufacturers?
When there are changes such as these, manufacturers are forced to make major changes to their advertising, packaging (most of which is purchased in bulk so may need to be disposed of if not complying with a name change), signage, etc. It is not a simple matter of deciding to change a name.
Personally, if I’m unsure as to the contents of a pack in the supermarket or a burger in a take-away, I read the pack ingredients label, or in a shop, ask for assistance.
Should we follow the French and re-name products or keep going the way we are? Personally, I’m happy not to put undue pressure on people trying to make my lunch.