5 Burgers From Around the World to Flip Over, For Better or Worse

By Anthony Galasso

IMAGE: Sebastián LP via Unsplash

IMAGE: Sebastián LP via Unsplash

The humble cheeseburger has stood the test of time, delivering sheer joy with each and every bite.

It's cheesy. It's juicy. And at this point, thanks to its popularization in fast food restaurants and Fourth of July barbecues, the cheeseburger may as well be America's national dish.

That said, there are some burgers from around the world that are doubling down on this classic American treat in ways that might make you flip, for better or worse. And no, that's not a double cheeseburger reference.

IMAGE: Party Lin via Flickr

IMAGE: Party Lin via Flickr

China's Donkey Burger

Yup. Donkey meat.

It may not initially sound appetizing, but the Donkey Burger is a historical favorite among the Chinese dating back to the Ming Dynasty.

Legend has it, due to the scarcity of food at the time, soldiers and citizens began to slaughter and eat their horses as a source of nourishment. However, since horses were a valuable commodity, a decisive move to swap horse meat for donkey meat was made.

Thrillist says the burger is served as either sliced or ground donkey meat with cilantro and green pepper sandwiched between two flaky buns called a shao bing. The dish is traditionally served cold.

"Lovers of roast-beef sandwiches might be struck speechless by this Oriental counterpart. Maybe that’s because their mouths are full," writes Emily Young of The Beijinger.

IMAGE: Görlitz via Wikipedia

IMAGE: Görlitz via Wikipedia

Denmark's Bøfsandwich

If "gravy trains" were real, I'm totally on board, and I'm munching down on this hot mess of a burger right here -- the Bøfsandwich, a Denmark delight.

Literally translated, Bøfsandwich simply means "beef sandwich." Essentially, it's a typical ground beef patty sandwiched between two buns but smothered in brown gravy. Some regions of Denmark, particularly the Jutland region, serve the Bøfsandwich with sliced beetroots and crispy roasted onions, the last of which being a local Scandinavian delicacy.

Non-Danes often refer to the sandwich simply as the "gravy burger." However, Canada serves a very similar type of burger called the Hot Hamburg Sandwich, which incorporates many of the same elements. According the Thrillist, it's basically "the poutine of burgers."

IMAGE: Tom Bowles via Digital News Room

IMAGE: Tom Bowles via Digital News Room

London's Burger-Flavoured Ice Cream

Alright, alright. This burger-flavored ice cream is certainly a stretch, but it's definitely something to flip over.

Thanks to Mr. Hyde -- a daily men's lifestyle email -- Britain finally set aside a specific date in 2013 to nationally honor the beloved burger. Taking place on August 27, naturally, a grandiose celebration took place.

For the event, London's Sorbitium Ices whipped up a creamy batch of burger-flavoured ice cream in celebration of Britain's inaugural National Burger Day celebration at Street Feast Dalston Yard.

The ice cream was topped with a strawberry sauce in place of tomato ketchup, and instead of sprinkles, burger lovers adorned their treats with candied bacon and dill gherkin ripple.

RELATED: Scoopin' All Over the World: An International Love for Ice Cream

“The Americans already have two national burger days and we have zilch," Editor of Mr. Hyde, Jonathan Pile said back in 2013. "The UK’s appetite for burgers has grown exponentially in the last few years, we’re seeing new burger-only restaurants popping up in London and across the country every few months.  In naming 27th August as National Burger Day and kicking off with this legendary burger ice cream we are celebrating the ingenuity and versatility of the British burger and giving Britons a chance to lay claim to the burger as a British staple.”

IMAGE: Gojima 

IMAGE: Gojima 

Sydney's Gojima Burgers

A Japanese take on an American burger in Sydney, Australia? Yeah. Let's get multi-cultural.

Chase Kojima is taking the Aussie culinary scene by storm, paving the way for intriguing fusions that make the mouth water.

Kojima's Gojima burger is no exception. It's filled with all the classics, a beef patty topped with crisp lettuce, pickles and white onions. You know, the usual suspects. However, it's the "buns" that pay homage to Kojima's Japanese heritage.

Two rice buns made from caramelized sushi rice are spread with house-made umami butter and then wrapped in what Kojima calls "the best nori seaweed in the world that melts in your mouth and has a delicious roasted aroma," according to News.com.au.

I'll have five, please.

IMAGE: OddityCentral.com

IMAGE: OddityCentral.com

Lake Victoria's Midge Burgers

For the people living in Lake Victoria's surrounding countries -- namely Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania -- finding adequate nutrition can be a challenge. Thankfully, Mother Nature literally sends them swarms of nourishment once a year.

These burgers are made from midges, small flies that rise up from Lake Victoria, Africa during the rainy season. According to OddityCentral.com, they fly in swarms "so dense that they can suffocate a person."

In fact, the swarms are so thick that locals catch the midges by simply moistening frying pans and waving them in the air, trapping the midges to be formed into patties. 

With each patty containing up to 500,000 midges, these fly burgers make for a great source of protein and can be up to seven times more nutritious than their beefy counterparts.

Talk about eating your problems away...

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