The hamburger comes from Hamburg. Or the US. Or, or, or. You do not know exactly. What is known: The burger is one of the most popular dishes in the world. On May 28, it is celebrated internationally on Hamburger Day.

A world without hamburgers is hard to imagine. It’s become part of pop culture, going from a billo snack to one of the most popular foods in the world. However, there is still debate as to which pioneer of the art of cooking can take credit for this culinary coup. There are many theses as to who invented the dish. Whether the hamburger from the beautiful German Hanseatic city of the same name made its way overseas or was only developed in the USA or whether in truth someone else had a finger in the pie – to date it cannot be said with certainty.

What is undisputed, however, is that the Hamburger began its triumphal procession in the late 1940s in a fast food restaurant in Los Angeles. The basis was McDonald’s system catering, which made the hamburger its core product. The quick snack is now so popular that it is celebrated around the world once a year: May 28th is “International Hamburger Day”. To mark the occasion, we dug five absurd burger facts from the backrooms of the internet archive.

Fact 1: The Pineapple Gate

In the ’60s, McDonald’s had a problem. During Lent, burger sales plummeted so much that the fast food chain had to come up with something. This is how the first prototype of a veggie burger was born. He flopped tremendously. Only six of the “Hula” burgers are said to have gone over the counter at the time. It just didn’t meet the taste of the customers, it was probably too extravagant. It was, in the truest sense of the word, a slimmed-down version of a Hawaiian toast. Only a grilled pineapple ring was placed in the bun, with a slice of cheese on top.

Fact 2: Punched through

And then there’s this story about the boxer Cassius Clay. He had just won the Olympic gold medal in boxing in 1960. Legend has it that he walked into a fast-food restaurant with the medal, placed it conspicuously inconspicuously on the counter and then ordered a burger. There he was told: “We still don’t serve n******.” (in the friendlier translation about: “We still don’t serve black people”, whereby the word serve also stands for serving). Cassius Clay, who was also notorious for his verbal quick-wittedness, is said to have countered the racist statement: “That’s okay, I don’t eat them.” Cassius Clay later called himself Muhammed Ali. The American, who has since died, is considered the greatest boxer of all time and is the only one to have won the world title three times.

Fact 3: That little bit of cheese

In the USA, the cheap burger chain McDonald’s had to deal with resolute regular customers a few years ago. It started with a slice of cheese and ended with a lament. The two customers regularly came to the fast food restaurant in Florida, where they preferred to eat the Quarter Pounder, which is roughly what is sold in Germany as Royal TS. The only thing they didn’t like was the cheese on it and had the staff take it off. The problem: Even though they ordered the burger without cheese, the price didn’t change. That annoyed the penny pinchers so much that they filed a lawsuit against the fast food chain in 2018. They demanded a whopping five million dollars. At the time, the Miami Herald quoted from the indictment that customers were “forced to pay for two slices of cheese they didn’t want, order, or receive in order to purchase their coveted product.”

Fact 4: The “Oprah Effect”

Oprah Winfrey is a US television superstar. She had an immense impact on the country’s pop culture with her show. Books that she recommended became bestsellers, things that she condemned were no longer handled with pincers by Americans. This phenomenon became known as the “Oprah Effect”. Her power was so great that in 1996 she angered Texas ranchers so much with a small Burger comment that they sued Winfrey for more than ten million dollars. After a post on the beef industry, Winfrey has said he will never eat a burger again. As a result, beef prices plummeted. In 2002, after years of legal wrangling, a judge finally dismissed the lawsuit. And Winfrey’s beef scandal was over.

Fact 5: Luxury burgers

Burgers are no longer only available in fast food restaurants. Hamburgers with all sorts of extravagances have been trendy for a while. Especially in urban areas, burger restaurants have practically popped out of the ground in recent years. Even in the poshest restaurants, burger variants are no longer frowned upon, they are actually en vogue. So it is not surprising that in addition to the cheap burger offers, luxury versions are now also being offered for sale. Larger sums are then due for this. What is currently probably the most expensive burger in the world is in Las Vegas in the famous Mandalay Bay Hotel and is a creation of chef Hubert Keller. For the Fleur Burger 5000, hungry people have to pay the equivalent of more than 4600 euros. Instead, there’s Wagyu beef, truffles and foie gras.