July 4th is a week away and people are soon going to be firing up their BBQ grills to celebrate the holiday. One of the most traditional meals to cook on the 4th is hot dogs and hamburgers, and many people have their own special burger recipe that they swear by. At Spice For Life, we too have some very delicious burger recipes that we would like to share with you, four recipes in fact…one for beef burgers, turkey burgers, lamb burgers, and salmon burgers. Some of our customers have told us that after trying our burger recipes, they have stopped making their own! But first a very brief history on the origin of the hamburger, which has become such a ubiquitous American meal.

Well the truth is, no one really knows who invented the hamburger, though many people and places lay claim to it. Ground meat has been eaten throughout the centuries, as far back as ancient Egypt. Genghis Khan used shredded lamb to feed his troops. In the United States, some versions of the hamburger origin say it started with the German Hamburg-American Boat Line that served the burger to immigrants coming to the U.S. in the 1800s. Other versions of the history of the American hamburger give credit to Charlie Nagreen of Seymor, Wisconsin; the Menches family from Akron, Ohio; Oscar Weber Wilby of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Louis Lassen of New Haven Connecticut among others.

See History and Legends of Hamburgers for a thorough history of the hamburger. One thing is for sure though, since its introduction, the burger has been wildly popular.

Our burger recipes can satisfy any palette, burger, burger (beef), turkey burger, lamb burger, and salmon burger. What these four recipes have in common are the special attention paid to the three most important aspects of any dish:

the quality/type of the produce, in this case the meat/fish; the spices used, and the cooking technique.

For the beef burger, we recommend using ground sirloin, which is a leaner and tasty cut of beef. The spice blend that enhances the beef flavor and does not overwhelm it is our Burger, Burger, Burger Blend. And one of the techniques we have found extremely helpful to keep the burger from falling apart on the grill is, to make the patties at least 30 minutes ahead of time and put them into the refrigerator to settle.

As regards the turkey burger, it is best to use ground dark meat. It has more flavor, is juicer, and keeps the burger from drying out. The spice blend we recommend using in the turkey burger is Caribbean Turkey Seasoning, whose ingredients of orange zest, brown sugar, nutmeg, etc. compliment the poultry flavor very well. A critical cooking technique for this burger is to brush the clean grill with olive oil before grilling, so the turkey burgers (which are very lean) will not stick.

For a lamb burger, it is best to get your ground lamb from a local butcher store. We found ground lamb from grocery stores tend to be too fatty. The spices we suggest using are again our Burger, Burger, Burger Blend but this time combined with some dry mint, which goes so well with lamb. And like the beef burger, make the patties at least 30 minutes ahead of time and put them into the refrigerator to settle.

Lastly, for the type of salmon to use to make a salmon burger, we recommend buying Faroe Island Salmon, which has a very nice flavor and texture. We use our BBQ Salmon Blend in the patties, which provides a little heat balanced with a smoky slightly sweet flavor. Salmon burgers are delicate and have a tendency to break apart, if you are not careful. So, one of the critical cooking techniques to prevent this is to: cover the grates with either a cooking mat or aluminum foil, or use a fish basket, or even place a cast iron skillet on the grates in which to cook the patties.

No matter which recipe you decide to try (and we hope you will try one), we hope you enjoy it. However, more importantly we at Spice For Life just want to wish you a very Happy July 4th!

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