The Best Cheese Burgers: As American (and Tasty) as Apple Pie

Fontina Cheese Burgers with Bacon, Guacamole & Tomato! Are you humming God Bless America right now? Well, I am…

Why does America love burgers? Why are burgers considered so very American? What does our love of the burger say about us?

I could easily adopt the burger attitude of the moment and rail against the burger. I could make one of those trendy “heart attack on a bun” jokes. But I’m not gonna.

Because I love a good burger: Big, messy and inspired by America! You see, burgers are an American Institution whose power lies in their iconoclasm and decidedly simple virtues. I believe that the humble hamburger says something about being an American.

It’s hard to have grown up in this country and not have strong feelings about our cheese burgers. They’re ingrained in our culture. They’ve come to symbolize so much more than a casual meal. There will always be a part of me that remains a 7‑year-old boy peeking under the bun to make sure my mom didn’t slip anything sneaky onto my hamburger. That’s the kind of power America’s burgers have.

Cheese Burger IngredientsBurgers make me think about long past backyard BBQs. Fireflies, mosquito bites and my parents drinking beer out of a can. And of course, childhood treats to Burger King, where we just might (if we were very, very quiet in the car) get to order a vanilla shake. But it was hard to be quiet in the car knowing that we would soon be sitting on those little twirly stools spinning and spinning to the sound of mom saying “I am going to count to Three. One, Two, Two and a Half, Two and Three-Quarters…

But really good cheese burgers are getting harder and harder to find. And that’s because really good burgers do not come from drive-through windows. Drive-through windows have ruined burger joints. Well, so have all the chemical additives. Those cheese burgers have become down right scary. It’s a crying shame.

I think the only way to get a good burger is to make your burger at home.

So to honor the advent of summer, and America’s love of the burger, let’s go on a road trip to San Francisco– because like a good burger, the road-trip is quintessentially American. I’m going to use ingredients inspired by San Francisco: Fontina Cheese, Heirloom Tomatoes, Guacamole, Red Onion, Oak Leaf Lettuce and of course Sourdough Bread. And if my burger doesn’t immediately transport you to San Francisco, well I’ll understand. The lure of the great American backyard barbeque is just too strong. Please pass me a beer (in a can). GREG

This cheese burgers post was sponsored by Wisconsin Cheese and is part of their Cheese & Burger Society Burgers Across America series honoring great cheese burgers inspired by great cities all over this great country.


Greg Henry

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