What Is A Smashburger & Why Are They So Popular?

I started hearing about smashburgers a few years ago and now it’s everywhere. But what and why is there a craze for them? You might’ve assumed, like me, that the smash burger originated when the now nationwide chain, Smashburger (yes, very creative name), opened its first restaurant back in 2007. In reality, the very first smash burger may actually have been invented several decades prior. It got its name from a restaurant owner named¬†Bill Culvertson, when his employee smashed a burger on the grill using a can of beans and realized how much better it tasted.

When Smashburger starte, their idea was to create a burger from fresh 100% certified Angus beef that has been hand-packed into a ball, placed on a hot, well-seasoned grill, and smashed into a thin, savory patty. Placed on a buttered bun with a blanket of cheese, briny pickles, and a handful of other classic burger toppings, the new and improved burger quickly became a hit.

Smash Burger vs Regular Burger

So what really makes the two so different? Well, as you all are most likely aware, a¬†classic burger is made with a thicker patty that’s either been seasoned before shaping or just seasoned with salt and pepper (or not seasoned at all). They’re also often cooked to medium-rare or medium, which results in a nice, pink, and super juicy center. As you can guess from the intro, a smash burger is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. A loosely packed ball of ground beef that’s been placed on a hot pan or grill and then pressed firmly into a thin patty with a spatula or a cast iron press. The burger is usually pressed down onto the very hot cooking surface for at least 10 seconds to get a proper sear.

There’s not really a medium-rare in the smash burger world, but you’ll know it’s done when it’s nice and browned (almost slightly burned) on both sides. Even though classic burgers are also typically grilled, they’re not pressed down and flattened like smash burgers. Everything besides the burger patty (like the bun, toppings, sides, and¬†dipping sauces) is pretty much the same for both, depending on where you go. And of course, any version of burger deserves¬†great sides¬†to go with them.

The¬†Maillard reaction is a form of browning and is “loosely explained as a chemical reaction between amino acids and a type of sugar called a “reducing sugar,” located on the surface of food, in the presence of heat.” This reaction is what helps to create those incredibly deep and savory flavors and aromas we so often crave. Since most of the meat is pressed down onto the grill and browned, you’re getting more Maillard goodness than when cooking a regular burger. Remember: maximum browning equals maximum flavor. Not only that, but because they’re so thin, you can easily stack several on a bun ‚ÄĒ which BTW, also means an additional layer of melty cheese. And who doesn’t want that?

5 Top Instagrammable Places In Kochi, Kerala

1. Fort Kochi

Considered by many as the heart of Kochi, Fort Kochi is the country’s first European township and an embodiment of beauty and grace. Here you will find the¬†Chinese fishing nets; in fact, it is the only place in the world sans China where these fishing nets can be found spattered across the harbour.¬†There were 17 Chinese nets to begin with; however, only 8 remain presently.¬†Another beautiful place to visit in Fort Kochi is the Old Kochi, a tiny fishing village. Old Kochi is one of the¬†best Instagrammable places¬†for travellers who just wish to unwind and relax for a while.

2. Mattancherry Palace

Mattancherry Palace is one of the best Instagrammable places in Kochi. Located in the western part of Kochi, Mattancherry is an old locality and a very popular tourist spot. Mattancherry gets its name from an old Brahmin house which was called Ancherry Mattom, but instead got pronounced as Mattancherry by the European colonizers. Just walking through the vibrant, bustling streets of this beautiful locality will leave you in awe and wonder. One of the main attractions here is the Mattancherry Palace which was built in 1557 by the Portuguese and gifted to Veera Kerela Verma, the then ruler of Kochi. Later it got renovated by the Dutch, and this is the reason why most people also know it as the Dutch Palace. The palace is a beautiful combination of the Kerela and European style architecture and is known for its spacious halls and exotic murals covering a length of around 300 Square km depicting scenes from Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.

3. Jew Town

Jew Town located in Mattancherry is known for the small antique shops sprawled on both sides of the narrow road selling beautiful apparel, trinkets, gems, sculptures, and other home decor items. It was once an important neighbourhood for the Malabari and Paradesi Jews who settled here in the 11th and 16th century respectively. Jew town was later turned into a prominent trading spot for the Jews; however, most of the Jews living here have now moved back to Israel, and now tourists visit this place mainly for its rustic charm, delicious food joints, and vibrant shops selling some of the most exotic artefacts you can ever find.

4. Marine Drive

Marine Drive is one of the¬†best Instagrammable places¬†in Kochi, not only for locals but also for tourists because of the splendid backdrop of Kerala backwaters and the picturesque beauty that will leave you mesmerized. This walkway stretches for around 3 km and is a great place to take a leisurely stroll or spend time with friends and family and enjoy the magnificent sunset. Boat tours are also available for people who wish to enjoy the beauty of Kerala backwaters and the different kinds of flora and fauna in a more authentic way. There are several restaurants and shopping complexes near the area, so if you wish to enjoy some retail therapy after enjoying the serene beauty, Marine Drive won’t disappoint you.

5. Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum

Interested in the exotic art and rich heritage of India? Then do not give¬†Kerala¬†Folklore Museum¬†a miss. Opened in 2009, this three-story museum is known for its beauty and a massive collection of wooden, stone, and bronze artefacts. This museum is basically a reconstruction of more than 20¬†heritage buildings of Kerala. Built using inspiration from three different architectural styles of Travancore, Malabar, and Kochi, this museum is certainly a treat for your eyes. Inside, you can find different types of sculptures, paintings, musical instruments, oil lamps, utensils, and tribal artwork on display.¬†The museum is open every day for visitors from 10 a.m –¬†to 5 p.m; except on Mondays and public holidays.a