Consider the hamburger: Tucked inside a bun and served with all the fixings, it’s an American icon. (Share the spotlight, hot dog.) But how did it get that way?
National Geographic recently released a short video about the history of the hamburger, tracing its origins back to Genghis Khan and the Mongolian cavalry, who, back in the 13th century, “would actually keep meat under their saddles,” Cutthroat Kitchen judge Simon Majumdar says in the video. This meat-meets-seat move was not only for convenient transport, Majumdar maintains, but also because “they realized it would be tenderized as they were banging against the saddle as they rode.” Oh my.