A restaurant in Pasadena, California, has claimed that it was in its kitchen that the cheeseburger, probably one of the most popular dishes of all time, was first invented, in the late 1920s.
Local diner the Rite Spot says young chef Lionel Sternberger accidentally burned one side of the hamburger he was cooking.
The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce’s Paul Little told CNN: “Rather than throwing it in the trash, he flipped it over and put a bit of cheese on it to hide his mistake and served it to a customer, who was delighted to have it.”
Now the town is celebrating the cheeseburger’s humble origins with a week of events in its honour.
And it is certainly worthy of the tribute. Throughout the subsequent 90 years, the cheeseburger has seen many incarnations.
McDonalds introduced the double cheeseburger as a promotional item in the Fifties, and it has since become a staple in restaurants across the world.
And twists on the theme vary from the bizarre to the sublime.
The Wall Street Burger Shoppe secured the title of New York’s most expensive burger when it unveiled an $175 sandwich in 2008.
Within the gold leaf-flecked brioche bun is a “Kobe beef patty, lots of black truffles, seared foie gras, aged Gruyere cheese, and wild mushrooms”.
Far fewer cheeseburger lovers, we imagine, would be tempted by a new dish at Fatty’s in San Antonio, Texas.
Its new ice-cream cheeseburger boasts a scoop of fried ice-cream on a beef patty.
Owner Mark Outing, who also lists a pancake cheeseburger and a fried egg burger on his menu, believes his culinary inventiveness will prove a hit.
Mark Outing told mysanantonio.com: “Most of these burgers are things people have eaten before. They perhaps just haven’t thought of piling them on top of one another.”