The humble hamburger has become a staple at many restaurants and bars across the world. While the true origin of the hamburger is disputed, its popularity is not. The typical burger consists of a cooked patty of ground meat, typically beef, placed inside either a sliced bun or bread roll. Unlike many other dishes, the way the patty is cooked does not change the nature of the dish, and burgers can be grilled, pan-fried, or flame broiled. Although many top chefs swear by their own personalised methods, hamburgers are one of the easiest dishes to cook.
The hamburger has evolved in more recent years, and as it has become more popular, additions have been made, one of the favourites being the plethora of toppings which have been added over the years. Two of the most common toppings are tomatoes and lettuce, giving the hamburger some extra crunch without adding too powerful an additional flavour. Cheese is another common addition to hamburgers, and although this technically makes the burger a cheeseburger, it has become so commonplace that almost all hamburgers come with some form of cheese at the majority of restaurants. Other common additions from recent years are bacon, onion, pickles, and a variety of condiments such as ketchup or mayonnaise. Buns have also changed frequently over the years, and many are now topped with sesame seeds, but higher-end restaurants have started to use brioche buns for a sweeter taste.
With advancements in food preparation techniques, vegetarian burgers have improved vastly in both taste and texture, and are now a regular appearance at many burger joints. It is also possible to find many alternatives to beef for those who prefer leaner meat, such as chicken.