This event was recorded as part of the Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance Third Annual Symposium "Beef: From Plains to Plate".
Andrew F. Smith presents “How Ground Beef on a Bun Conquered the World.” Ground beef was not a important part of the American diet until the late nineteenth century, when it captured the attention of Midwestern street vendors and restaurateurs. Within a decade, a Midwestern street vendor put ground beef in a bun and the hamburger was born. It quickly became America's most popular sandwich, but it even soared to greater heights when a Midwestern short order cook launched White Castle and a multimixer salesman globalized McDonald's.
Peter Engler reports on his research on “The Big Baby: A Burger Style from Chicago's Southwest Side.” Despite increasing homogenization of the American hamburger by the large chains, regional variants persist and thrive. He focuses on one local exampleâ€”the Big Baby double cheeseburgerâ€”discussing its origin, spread and evolution.
Celebrate Midwestern beef foodways by tracing the historic odyssey of all-American meat from the windswept plains of the heartland to meat processors in "cities on the make," like Chicago, where it was packed, wrapped and sent to dinner plates around the globe. Join the Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance (GMFA) on that journey Beef: From Plains to the Plate – Follow the Cattlemen's Trail to Savory Midwest Beef Traditions.
Recorded Saturday, October 24, 2009 at Kendall College.