Who's asking: Dad
Dad asked this yesterday, and I said, "I don't know -- Salisbury steak has gravy, and hamburger doesn't?" I got home and looked it up, and sure enough: Salisbury steak is a steak-shaped patty of ground beef (i.e., hamburger) covered with a brown sauce, and sometimes onions. According to H.L. Mencken, the term "Salisbury steak" came into popular use as part of the anti-German reaction during the First World War, a 1917 version of "freedom fries."
Does anyone eat Salisbury steak outside a cafeteria or hospital? If anyone reading this blog has ever deliberately cooked Salisbury steak from scratch and served it to his or her family, I'd like to hear about it -- and also to hear whether that happened in the last 30 years.
The other day I commented about how fashions change in punctuation. Fashions change in food, as well. One of the great pleasures of Megan Abbott's excellent first novel, Die a Little, is the descriptions of the food the main character and her sister-in-law prepare for their cocktail parties and barbecues. Die a Little is set in the 1950s, the golden era of canapés and ambrosia and gelatin-based salads.
I don't believe I've eaten ambrosia (a salad of mandarin oranges and shredded coconut) since a church pot-luck in high school, and I still shudder at the memory of a tomato aspic I once tried at a similar event. Sometimes progress is a good thing.