Hamburger: A Global History

Andrew Smith discusses Hamburger: A Global History on Tuesday, January 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

Smith traces the origins of the hamburger from its days as a street food sold by American vendors to the inclusion on the menus of diners and restaurants to the opening of the first hamburger chain, White Castle – in Wichita, Kansas, in 1921. Smith also illustrates his contention that the hamburger irrevocably changed American life as it prompted the rise of fast food over home-cooked meals.

Smith is a hamburger aficionado who teaches culinary history at the New School in New York. He is also the author of The Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food and editor of The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink.

Copies of Hamburger: A Global History will be available for sale, and Smith will sign copies purchased during the event.

Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Click here or call 816.701.3407 to RSVP.


Two other programs at the Kansas City Public Library offer a fountain of fun food facts as the authors of Pancake: A Global History, and Citrus: A History discuss their books on January 6 and 27, respectively.

The books are part of Reaktion Books’ new Edible series of chapbooks.

The programs complement the Hungry Planet exhibit on display at the Central Library through January 18.


More in this series:
Citrus: A History
Central Library |

Hamburger: A Global History

Date & Location