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Is it a burger or is it a meatloaf patty??..

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Is it a burger or is it a meatloaf patty??..

Clifford | Feb 3, 2007 11:34 PM

In the last several months I have heard it rather authoritatively stated that "you can't mix a bunch of stuff into your [ground meat]...if you do that you are just making meat loaf...it's not really a burger." I first heard this from Bobby Flay in a rerun episode of "Throwdown" three or so months ago. Then I heard Tom Colicchio say the same thing in an episode of "Top Chef" in this last season (actually, Colicchio didn't say it himself---but it was noted on a number of comment cards related to that week's challenge after Elia Aboumrad had the audacity to mix prosciutto, parsley, and shallots into her ground beef). This weekend, a co-worker (and mindless sycophant of any celebrity chef) said the exact same thing.

To me, this smacks of a "chef-ification" of a formerly (and properly)very loosely bandied-about word. Probably millions of us have tasted, if not grown up on, burgers made with Lipton Powdered Onion Soup Mix mixed into the meat. But apparently those those things my dad grilled every summer weekend at the lake weren't burgers after all. Eddie Murphy did a classic stand-up routine on his mama's burgers that had "onions and peppers and all kinds of nasty shit stickin' outta [the patties]." Here in Minnesota, we have classic sandwich (but not a burger, apparently) that consists of a ground beef patty filled with cheese---lovingly known as a "juicy lucy."

This is bullshit. If you start adding eggs and/or breadcrumbs, or other starchy filler, then I could MAYBE see the point. But just because someone adds onions or peppers (as did virtually everyone I knew in my South Dakota hometown), it does not make the end result any less of a burger.

I am very much for calling things what they ACTUALLY are...I'm actually a bit of a prick about it. But this is incorrect and a hijacking of the word "burger" in my opinion. Any thoughts?

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