Saturday, September 18, is a national holiday -- National Cheeseburger Day. The perfect time for lactose-tolerant carnivores to salute the gussied-up sibling of the
humdrum hamburger, to celebrate the harmonious marriage between burger and cheese.
The invention of the cheeseburger cannot be credited to one person, but food historians say that it was in the 1920s or '30s that somebody's metaphoric light bulb lit up to slap a
slice on a lonely hunk of meat. Since then, the cheeseburger has made a tremendous impact on
society. Let us catch up, shall
Here are five memorable moments in cheeseburger history:
1. Mayor McCheese Elected
I fear to think where McDonaldland might be without the guidance
of the charming Mayor McCheese, who
served in McD's ad campaigns from 1975 to 1981. Although the gargantuan size of his burger head might have been tempting for some to nibble from, it takes only four or five dignified bites to polish off one of
McDonald's budget-friendly, cheesy concoctions. However, with nearly equal the ratio
of fat to protein, the 300 calories, and the 750 mg of sodium in each burger, they
might not cut the mustard with anybody looking to shed a pound -- or 50. But boy, are they addictive! Think of the number of cheeseburgers sold -- not only have they made MickeyD stockholders rich but they have kept countless Big-N-Tall clothiers in business! As a result of their massive popularity, in 2004-05, congressmen introduced legislation called the American Personal Responsibility in Food
Consumption Act, AKA "The Cheeseburger Bill," to block lawsuits by
supersized folk who wanted to blame fast-food chains for their obesity. Alas, the bill never became law, and the cheeseburgers continue to fly off the griddle.
2. Jimmy Buffett Immortalizes the Cheeseburger
The adoration of this cheesy meat at hand also reaches
into the music industry, which has taken a big bite
out of the burger. Nobody illustrates
the significance of food product in one man's life better than musician
Jimmy Buffett. After building an empire
of restaurants and retail based around his iconic song "Margaritaville,"
he has plucked from his catalog yet another ditty, "Cheeseburger in Paradise,"
in which to help make "heaven on earth with an onion slice" at a strip mall
3. Belushi & Aykroyd Inspire a Chain
Back in the '70s, one of the recurring skits on Saturday Night
Live took place at a fictitious greasy spoon called the Olympia Café, staffed
by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Their
characters sold only chips (no fries!), Pepsi (no Coke!), and
cheeseburgers. With each order taken,
they would excitedly -- and repeatedly -- announce "Cheeburger!
Cheeburger!" The success of those
bits spawned, years later, a nationwide franchise of burger joints aptly named
Cheeburger! Cheeburger! Imitation is the highest form of flattery... if it doesn't
result in a lawsuit.
4. The Cheeseburger Sheds Its Bun
Now for the folk who may be craving the cheeseburger taste
but lack the cheese (or the ability to easily form a patty from a mound of
ground chuck and quickly grill it up), consider the faux products typically found in
any supermarket. Since 1971, Betty
Crocker's Hamburger Helper has continuously upped the ante for meal ideas
without the need for fresh vegetables or those bothersome buns. Packaged for your gastronomic enjoyment are
several selections like Cheeseburger Macaroni, Double Cheeseburger Macaroni
(man cannot live by one burger alone), and the delightfully delicious Bacon
Cheeseburger. Worried about your
waistline? Betty's got your back. From her health-conscious line of Whole
Grain Helpers comes Cheeseburger Mac made with whole-wheat pasta. Thanks, Betty.
5. David Hasselhoff Slurs Into His Cheeseburger
I can think of nowhere else where a
cheeseburger has upstaged a human being more so than in the
pitiable -- yet still really funny -- video of David Hasselhoff on the floor of a closet,
drunkenly propped up on one arm, devouring an
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innocent cheeseburger that never asked for fame whilst slurring to his
daughter promises of sobriety between each bite. If ever there was wisdom to be imparted from that horror, it is
to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day responsibly!