Spanish Hamburger; Cuban Hamburger; Picadillo

Barry Popik bapopik at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 26 18:49:51 UTC 2007

"Spanish hamburger" and "Cuban hamburger" are important because I've
written before on "hamburger," and someone has a forthcoming book on
"hamburger." Are these the same as "picadillo," or was that early cite
from a Fred Harvey restaurant different?
PICADILLO--466,000 Google hits
PICADILLO + HAMBURGER--25,000 Google hits
SPANISH HAMBURGER--1,040 Google hits
CUBAN HAMBURGER--586 Google hits
(Oxford English Dictionary)
picadillo, n.

[< Spanish picadillo hash, minced meat (1606 or earlier in this sense)
< picado (adjective) minced (late 14th cent. or earlier; use as
adjective of past participle of picar to grind, to mince (13th cent.
or earlier in this sense; a1207 in sense 'to pierce, wound with a
sharp object': see PICK v.1)) + -illo, diminutive suffix (cf. -ILLUS

Any of various dishes of Spanish or Latin American origin, made with
ground or minced meat; spec. a spiced hash, popular in Central America
and Cuba, typically made with peppers and other vegetables.
Also used as a filling.

1877 MRS. F. LESLIE California xi. 120 The German finds his
sauerkraut, the Italian his maccaroni, the Spaniard his picadillo, and
the Welshman his leek, each at his own house of refreshment.
Picadillo is a dish mainly consisting of ground beef (sometimes
shredded beef or chicken) typically found in Cuba, Mexico, and other
Latin American countries. In Mexico it is sometimes used as a filling,
such as for tacos, and can be mixed with vegetables. It can also be
prepared as a type of stew. In most other Latin American countries it
consists of a common table from where people pick small beef pieces or
other food such as french fries. The name comes from the Spanish word,
"picar" which means "to chop".

Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries; it's
made with ground meat, tomatoes, and regional ingredients. The Cuban
version includes olives and on occasion capers, omits chili powder,
and is usually served with black beans and rice.

The classic recipe uses ground meat, boiled and cubed potatoes,
raisins, slivered almonds, diced olives, allspice, salt, pepper,
chopped serrano or jalapeno pepper, and sometimes a little chili
powder. This is all slowly simmered and served with hot flour
4 August 1937, Middlesboro (KY) <i>Daily News</i>, pg. 4, col. 8:
<i>The 'Burger Meal</i>
First of all, be sure to try a "Burger Plate" -- seasoned with
hamburgers, served with sauteed bananas!
(Recipe the same as below -- ed.)
25 August 1937, Hammond (IN) <i>Times</i>, pg. 12, cols. 7-8:
<i>Hamburgers in De Luxe Style</i>
<i>Appear on Smart Tables</i>

The burghers of old Hamburg, where the viand got its name, would be
astounded to seethe bounds the hamburger has made! From a lowly start
at roadside stands and picnics, the 'burger has made the grade to the
smartest tables.

A juicy hamburger, festooned with mustard, flanked with a slab of
pungent Bermuda and barely surrounded by bun remains burger without
peer. But don't stop at that; try new kinds:

1 pound hamburger
1 tbsp. tomato catsup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasonings
1/2 teaspoon garlic-salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
2 green-tipped or all-yellow bananas
2 tablespoons butter
6 slices bread

Mix hamburger thoroughly with catsup and seasonings; form into six
flat patties about four inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick; fry
slowly in hot shortening until browned on both sides, turning once.
While hamburgers are frying cut the bananas in half lengthwise and
then crosswise and saute in butter. To serve, place the hamburger
patties on toasted bread, top with the bananas, using two quarters for
each hamburger. Garnish with the remaining bananas. Six servings.
(Also interesting--ed.)
19 December 1958, Troy (NY) <i>Record</i>, pg. 38, cols. 6-8:
<i>For Qucik, Tasty Supper Dish Try Picadillo</i>
(Same recipe as below -- ed.)
1 January 1959, Chicago (IL) <i>Daily Herald</i>, pg. 16?, col. 2:
<i>Picadillo -- </i>
<i>Spanish Hamburger</i>

For a quick supper dish that the whole family will go for, make
Picadillo, a Spanish version of hamburger. In 4 tablespoons of Spanish
olive oil saute one medium onion, chopped fine, one medium green
pepper, diced, and one small can of pimientos, drained and diced.

When onion is tender, add one pound chopped beef and stir once or
twice with fork until meat is cooked. Serve over hot cooked rice, or
between buns as you do barbecued beef. Makes four servings.
30 June 1966, Big Spring (TX) <i>Daily Herald</i>, C1 (pg. 23):
<i>(Cuban Hamburger)</i>
2 lbs. ground beef
2 eggs
1 finely chopped medium onion
3 tbsps. catsup
4 slices white bread
Salt, pepper, paprika to taste
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp. mustard

Put milk in large bowl and add crumbled bread. Let bread soak, and
then add remaining ingredients and mix well. Form into patties and
freeze. These may be taken from freezer and cooked like hamburger
patties. Serve in a bun.
18 August 1976, Frederick (MD) <i>News</i>, "Celebrity Cookbook: Cesar
Romero enjoys eating" by Johna Blinn,  pg. 64?, col. 1:
My mother learned to cook out of necessity. She was a good cook, both
of American-style meals and the family's Cuban favorites. I was always
especially fond of her picadillo. That's a dish made with chopped
meat, raisins and chopped, pimiento-stuffed olives. It's a little like
the American "Sloppy Joe," served over hamburger or hotdog buns.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list