Junk Food

Junk food defined from the Wikipedia Encyclopedia is a common term used for any food that is perceived to be unhealthy and has low or poor nutritional value. Examples of Junk food are hamburgers, hot dogs, candy, pies and chocolate. Of course we can’t eat these foods all the time but we dip into a few now and then and we all have our favorites. Listed are some treats and their tasty tales.

The hamburger is ranked third among favorites and it was served at Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York in 1834 as the “Hamburg Steak”. As far as the originator of the hamburger or cheeseburger sandwich that’s another matter to contend with.

Frank and Charles Menches are often credited. The brothers lived in Ohio; they were traveling concessionaires, selling ground pork sandwiches at the county fair. One day in 1885, they went to a butcher for pork, but he ran out so they purchased ground beef and found their customers liked the product.

Charlie Nagreen claims to have served the first hamburger in 1885. He was 15 at the time. His hamburger was described as a flattened meatball and butter-fried ground beef stuck between slices of bread.

There are also claims by Fletcher “Old Dave” of Athens, Texas. It’s said he sold hamburgers at his lunch counter in the late 1880’s. He also sold his hamburgers at the1904 St. Louis World’s Fair where he attracted press attention. The birth of the hamburger is often associated with this event.

Lionel C. Sterberger is believed to have invented the cheeseburger in the 1920’s but tales differ to an earlier or later date. There is also a local restaurateur from Pasadena in the early 1920’s who tossed a slice of cheese on a burger bringing the cheeseburger to life.

Whatever the case, John E. Harmon, professor of geography at Central Connecticut State University points out that whoever plunked a burger on a bun, not between slices of bread is the real inventor but destined to remain unknown.

The hot dog had its modern beginnings in Germany. It estimated that Americans eat about Seven thousand million of these during a summer.

Pizza is the first favorite among teenagers. Gennario Lombardi in 1905 opened the first pizzeria in this country at 53 Spring Street in New York City. Pepperoni is America’s favorite topping. It is put on 36% of pizza orders. October is National Pizza month (US). It was first designated in 1987. Americans eat 100 acres of pizza a day; or about 350 slices per second.

Coca Cola is Americans favorite soda. The first batch was conceived by a druggist, Dr John Pemberton, it was made in a three-legged cast iron pot in the backyard of his house. He sold it in his pharmacy in 1886. By 1889 he sold the rights to the formula to Asa G. Candler. Candler created the Coca-Cola we know today.

Among cookies chocolate chip comes in first. They were discovered by accident in New England by the owner of the Toll House Inn. One afternoon he dropped chocolate pieces in some cookie dough – and the rest is history. Oreo’s comes in second. Two chocolate flavored wafers with a rich cream filling, great for dunking in a cold glass of milk – yummy!

The favorite among pies is apple. There are American apple pie recipes, both manuscript and printed from the 18th century but its origins are from Europe. Apple pie was a favorite dessert during the reign of Elizabeth I. Colonials passed on the English “American” apple pie and thousands of bakers have since perfected it.

Hershey’s milk chocolate is the biggest selling candy in the entire world. Milton Hershey was an apprentice to a candy-maker in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. When he was eighteen years old he opened his own candy shop. When the shop closed after six years he moved to Denver, Colorado where he worked as a caramel manufacturer. In 1886 he moved back to Pennsylvania and started the successful Lancaster Caramel Company. In 1893, Milton attended the Chicago International Expo where he bought machinery to make German chocolate and began making chocolate covered caramels. In 1894 Milton started the Hershey Chocolate Company. He sold his caramel business and concentrated on chocolate making. The Hershey Chocolate Company owns many favorite candies such as: Almond Joy and Mounds candy bars, Hershey Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and New York Peppermint Patties.

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