The Erie County Fair has designated this Tuesday, September 18th as “National Birth of the Burger Day”.  In honor of the occasion, the culinary staff of Hamburg Gaming will prepare an oversized burger to act as a “birthday cake.”

The story behind the hamburger is that it was invented at the Erie County Fair in 1885 by Frank and Charles Menches of Canton, Ohio.  The brothers were vendors at the fair specializing in pork sausage sandwiches.  When they ran out of their supplies, their local supplier didn't want to butcher more hogs because of unusually hot conditions for this time of year.  Instead he suggested using ground beef.

According to a press release from the Erie County Fair the Menches cooked up some ground beef patties but found it to be "dry and bland, so they added coffee, brown sugar and other ingredients to create a unique taste."

Those original sandwiches were served with ketchup and sliced onions and the Menches named it the hamburger in honor of Hamburg, NY, the home of the Erie County Fair.

Back in those days the Erie County Fair was held in mid to late September, sometimes as late as early October to celebrate the area's annual harvest.  In 1885, the Erie County Fair was held September 16th-18th.