Modernist Cuisine co-author Maxime Bilet discusses how to make the perfect cheeseburger in the video above. Though we appreciate the Modernist Cuisine’s take on the matter, sometimes the Ron Swanson approach is really all one needs.
Also, Waldo Jaquith underscores the point that making a simple cheeseburger was nearly impossible before the twentieth century.
Tomatoes are in season in the late summer. Lettuce is in season in in the fall. Mammals are slaughtered in early winter. The process of making such a burger would take nearly a year, and would inherently involve omitting some core cheeseburger ingredients. It would be wildly expensive-requiring a trio of cows-and demand many acres of land. There’s just no sense in it.
A cheeseburger cannot exist outside of a highly developed, post-agrarian society. It requires a complex interaction between a handful of vendors-in all likelihood, a couple of dozen-and the ability to ship ingredients vast distances while keeping them fresh.
The long and short of it is that cheeseburgers are delicious and this is a glorious time to be alive. Ponder that for a moment and appreciate it for what it is.