China has long contended that noodles were invented here and later exported to -- or copied in -- Italy. More recently, there are claims that pizza also originated in China. But now we're veering into blasphemy: China is, with Western help, claiming that the hamburger is a Chinese creation.

Based on an article, "What Are Chinese Hamburgers And Why Aren't You Eating Them?" by Huffington Post Food Editor and blasphemer Alison Spiegel supports local marketing efforts that the roujiamo, the Shaanxi provinicial favorite, is actually a Chinese creation that predates the American dish by 2,000 years or more. "If you're scratching your head right now, you're not alone. But Chinese hamburgers are very real and they definitely predate the hamburgers we call our own in the U.S," she writes.

Spiegel passes the burger buck by quoting a post from a writer named Marcus Samuelsson, a Harlem-based chef. " China’s rou jia mo sandwich can be traced back to the Qin dynasty, about 221 BC to 207 BC," he writes.

Of course, Chinese media read this (now we know why The Huffington Post isn't blocked) and went to town. However, a Chinese scholar, while not denying the Samuelsson/Spiegel conspiracy heresy, at least threw some bread crumbs into the mix:

"The earliest record of meat being sandwiched between pastry was found in documents from the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), according to Jia Zhigang, associate professor at the Faculty of History at Northwest University in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province.

"'The meat sandwich originated in the royal palace and then it spread among the people. ... Given the celebrity effect and delicious taste, it soon became popular in the Guanzhong area (a prosperous area in Shaanxi),' Jia said," according to China Daily. I give them credit for having a Chinese hamburger expert in their Contacts list for when stories like this arise.

We didn't have any roujiamo (which, incidentally, is usually lamb or pork, not as often beef) entrants in our 2014 Beijinger Burger Cup. But for 2015, who knows.

Photo: Huffington Post


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