Charlie Nagreen (Hamburger Charlie) of Seymour, Wis., claims to be the first to sell a meat patty on a bun in 1885 [source: Barto]. The Wisconsin Assembly has proclaimed Seymour the "Home of the Hamburger" [source: Stradley]. Others claim that their ancestors were the first to make, sell, eat or mentally visualize a hamburger, and several state legislatures have proclaimed it so. From the time and place of its conception, the hamburger was destined to become the quintessential American sandwich on a bun, emulated around the world.
It wasn't until the roaring '20s that someone tossed a piece of cheese on top of a hamburger [source: Stradley]. By the 1930s, processed cheese accounted for around 40 percent of cheese sales, and much of it ended up on cheeseburgers [source: Gray]. Fast food cheeseburgers still consist of processed cheese and meat patties on a bun, a mere caricature of a juicy charcoal-grilled cheeseburger.
The 1970s fern bar revolutionized the burger. American cheese was for fast-food joints. Instead, you ordered a custom burger with your choice of cheese -- sharp or smoked cheddar, Swiss, Gouda, provolone or crumbles of blue cheese. Pizza burgers were topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. And today, the upscale cheeseburger continues to thrive -- you can find turkey burgers topped with Brie, lamb burgers sprinkled with feta and tzatziki and Kobe beef patties nestled under Gruyere.
Need more cheesetastic favorites to satisfy your cravings, check out the links on the following page.