Burgers Around the World: Beets, Pineapple, and Fermented Cabbbage

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A burger: It's a meat patty served on a bun. Your idea of the perfect burger might be as simple as this definition, and in your home country, you will probably be served with a version that suits your tastes. Ordering this one dish, can bring a person face-to-face with some very interesting concoctions to say the least. Take a look at these burgers around the world.

A burger: It's a meat patty served on a bun. Your idea of the perfect burger might be as simple as this definition, and in your home country, you will probably be served with a version that suits your tastes. Ordering this one dish, can bring a person face-to-face with some very interesting concoctions to say the least. Take a look at these burgers around the world.


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Burgers Around the World
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Burgers Around the World: Beets, Pineapple, and Fermented Cabbbage

The American burger is a cultural staple. Just like apple pie and baseball, burgers have become a symbol for what Americans love. Everywhere from McDonald's to Applebee's has burgers on the menu, and most promote their 100% ground beef composition. An American burger is topped with cheese and other standard (to us) condiments, such as ketchup, lettuce, onions and pickles. A bun can vary from basic hamburger rolls to gourmet kaisers, but the bun here isn't what makes the burger special: It's what's between that counts.


The Aussies love a good burger, and they love it like Americans: large. However, the folks Down Under have done something to make them unique - and it involves beets. Instead of a pickle or two, Australians top their burgers with slices of beetroot, plus maybe an egg. Pineapple is common as well. If you're lucky, you can get them all on one giant "burger with the lot": a stack of all those flavors on a bun that calls for a fork and knife. Beef lovers beware: Australian burger meat is often laced with seasonings and fillings (bread crumbs, for example) that can make it appear more like a meatloaf patty.


Leave it to China to put its own spin on a worldwide favorite. While you can get the traditional han bao (or hanbao) at the Western food chains, there are also the more Chinese versions that resemble something along the lines of pork buns. In these cases, the buns are sweet and the filling is made of pork or barbecued pork slices. Another version offers a bun composed of rice, a patty of chicken and sauce. It may look like a burger, but it is far from the standard American burger.

Korean fare is a unique and spicy mix involving pickled and fermented foods, such as kimchee. For those who have had tasted kimchee (most often, it's a peppy fermented cabbage) at a Korean barbecue restaurant, the question really comes down to, "Why not add a bit of that spicy goodness to a burger?" The Koreans have taken it upon themselves to localize this favorite dish by doing just that. As the photo shows, ordering a kimchee burger gives you a typical burger with onion and kimchee piled on top, and you can even go bunless and use a lettuce wrap for a more authentic Korean experience.

The British have wholeheartedly adopted the American style of hamburger in recent years, and all-beef burgers have sprung up on menus at boutique fries-and-shakes grills and in pubs nationwide.

What may surprise the burger lover would be what they might be served in Scotland, where cheeseburgers have simply been battered and deep-fried. Interested in one of these heart-healthy concoctions? Just head to the chip shops to get one served up on a pile of fries. You might as well go all out–and go out with a smile–if you're going at all.

In India–where wide religious views make beef off-limits–one would not expect to be served up a great burger; even McDonald's offers a vegetarian option nationwide on the menu.

However, India does have its own version of the fast-food burger known as a vada pav, a fried potato-based patty sandwiched between a bun and served with condiments, such as a coconut chutney sauce. It's fast and convenient, and it really does resemble a standard burger, at least in form.

Japanese culture has adopted the hamburger in various ways. One involves the inclusion of the hamburger steak, which is a bunless burger served much like a Salisbury steak with gravy. McDonald's in Japan has taken the idea and combined it with a Japanese flavor to produce the terriyaki burger. But, nothing tops the Japanese love of taking ideas to the extreme, which was presented back in 2009 when Burger King launched a 7-patty Whopper as a Windows 7 promotion.

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