Cheeseburger day is celebrated annually on the 18th of September. This celebration of one of the most iconic and delicious foods of the USA, has been taking place every year since the early part of the Roaring 20s era. While its plain cousin, the hamburger was likely invented somewhere around 1900 in the United States, it is believed that putting the cheese on top didn’t enter the picture until 1924.
History of Cheeseburger Day
The story goes that a teenager, Lionel Sternberger, who was working in his father’s sandwich shop, The Rite Spot in Pasadena, California, USA, just decided to put a slice of American cheese on a burger one day. He found it to be tasty so he shared the idea with his dad who liked it too. And, thus, the cheeseburger was born.
Although the idea was thought to be created in California in 1924, the first actual sandwich to be marketed using the word “cheeseburger” was at Kaelin’s restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, USA in 1934. But the following year, in 1935, the term “cheeseburger” was actually trademarked in another place, at the Humpty Dumpty Drive-in in Denver, Colorado. It seems that people all over the United States have taken credit for the invention of the cheeseburger!
Cheeseburger Day is marked in a number of different ways, but it can be celebrated and enjoyed in almost any way a person chooses–as long as it involves a cheeseburger, of course! Try these ideas for paying homage to the day:
One of the most common ways Cheeseburger Day is celebrated is by major and local fast-food chains offering free cheeseburgers to customers alongside other special offers.
Usually, the free offers have some sort of limit to prevent people from taking advantage of the generosity. This may be limiting the free cheeseburgers to one per customer, to only the first ten thousand visitors to the fast food store, or through making them available only for a one or two hour period on the day. Some places offer a free order of fries or drink with the purchase of a cheeseburger.
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How to Celebrate Cheeseburger Day
A few examples of restaurant chains that have served free or discounted cheeseburgers in the past include Burger King, Slater’s 50/50, Farmer Boy, Jack in the Box, Red Robin, White Castle, and many more. Just check online or pop into a local burger joint to see what kinds of discounts they are offering around Cheeseburger Day this year!
Get Creative Making Cheeseburgers at Home
To mark the day, many burger makers will use their creativity and culinary skills to make new variations on the traditional cheeseburger. This usually involves using premium types of cheese, other meats, and a variety of unusual garnishes. Try out these interesting ideas for making a standard cheeseburger into something excessively delicious:
- Cheddar Cheeseburgers with Fried Shallots and Slaw. This unique twist on a regular cheeseburger combines the tang of sharp cheddar cheese with vinegared-cabbage (made into slaw) and a delightful topping of crispy, fried shallot rings.
- Poblano Pepper Jack Cheeseburgers. Heat things up a bit with a slice of pepper jack cheese and top with a pile of roasted poblano peppers. Yikes, that’s hot!
- Reuben Cheeseburgers. Changing the cheese up to Swiss and adding Thousand Island dressing channels the vibes of a Reuben Sandwich. Of course, this concoction definitely needs to be served on a rye bun.
- Bacon, Kimchi and American Cheeseburger. Inspired by a Shake Shack burger, this unique sandwich holds a couple of slices of bacon, a slice of American or cheddar, a dash of Indonesian chile sauce mixed with mayo, and a little pile of drained and chopped cabbage kimchi.
Listen to Some Songs About Cheeseburgers
To get in the mood for Cheeseburger Day, have fun creating a playlist that channels the utter joy that makes people want to write songs about them! Try these songs out on a playlist to get started, then add some other fun songs to get inspired for the day:
- Cheeseburger in Paradise by Jimmy Buffett (1978). Any self-respecting lover of cheeseburgers will be perfectly familiar with Jimmy Buffett’s tribute to the cheeseburger.
- His Cheeseburger by Veggie Tales (2011). Sure, it’s a kid’s song. But it’s also a rock love ballad describing the deep emotions of a gourd named Mr. Lunt who is in love with cheeseburgers.
- The Cheeseburger Song by Lucinnio (2020). A singer-songwriter from Romania who mostly writes about food, Lucinnio also sings songs such as The Muffin Song, The Pancake Song and The Chicken Nuggets Song. He does seem to love to have “everything on it”.
- The Cheeseburger Family by Jack Stauber’s Micropop (2018). This avant-pop folk indie lo-fi band first released only a 30 second clip of this song but then, due to high demand, put out the entire 4 minute version that can now be found on YouTube, complete with a picture of a clay hamburger face.
Host a Cheeseburger Day Party
Grab a few friends or family members, fire up to the backyard grill (or stove!) and get to making some burgers in honor of Cheeseburger Day. Or make a fun day of it at work and host a cheeseburger bar during the lunch hour.
Have different people sign up to bring buns or various items to place on the toppings bar, including a variety of types of cheese slices, tomato slices, lettuce, pickles, mayonnaise, ketchup, barbeque sauce, or anything else that goes deliciously on top of a burger. Don’t forget to create a festive atmosphere by playing some of the previously mentioned Cheeseburgers Songs!
Try Some Crazy Cheeseburger Foods
Tired of that boring old hunk of meat stacked with cheese between two buns? Well, Cheeseburger Day is just the day to get absolutely ridiculous with the way Cheeseburgers are eaten! Take a look at these interesting ways some people have chosen to eat their cheeseburgers on this day and all throughout the year:
- Cheeseburger Pizza. Okay, so maybe this one isn’t too crazy. It takes all of the flavor of a cheeseburger and, instead of piling it on a bun, it’s piled on top of pizza dough. It’s delicious and it still maintains the ability to be eaten with your hands.
- Cheeseburger Milkshake. What goes better with a cheeseburger than a pile of fries and a milkshake? With this in mind the Cheeseburger milkshake was started–combining a flavor-packed milkshake (chocolate, strawberry or some other flavor) that is topped with a cheeseburger placed right on the straw as a garnish. Wow!
- Cheeseburger Flavored Cheetos. It seems that Asian cultures have a slightly different palate when it comes to flavors of chips and snacks. This particular version of Cheeseburgers Cheetos has been featured in Japan–but the marketers never did try to bring it over to the United States. However, another equally interesting option would be to try piling a stack of Cheetos onto a cheeseburger for a crispy, cheesy taste.