How to Make Ernest Hemingway’s Favorite Burger

02/13/2014 at 04:40 PM ET

Ernest Hemingway
Pictorial Parade/Getty

Ernest Hemingway devoted entire paragraphs in his novels to detailed descriptions of food — and turns out he was just as particular about his chow in real life.

The author’s hamburger recipe was just released by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library’s Hemingway Letters Project, and it’s a doozy.

“Papa’s Favorite Hamburger” (referring to Hemingway’s nickname) calls for nine ingredients to be mixed into lean ground beef — including Spice Islands mei yen power, soy sauce, garlic, India relish, capers and wine — before forming it into “fat, juicy patties” and frying them in oil so the final product is crispy brown on all sides and “the middle pink and juicy.”

You’ll see hand-written notes all over the recipe, including one calling for grated cheddar to be added to the patty blend.

Sandra Spanier, general editor of the Hemingway Letters Project, told the BBC that some of the Asian ingredients in Hemingway’s recipe followed his love of Chinese foods.

The burger, she added, shines a light on Hemingway’s characteristic “gusto.”

“It’s indicative of his enjoyment of the pleasures in life,” and shows off his wide range of tastes, from expensive to common, she said.

Our favorite line of the recipe: “There is no reason why a fried hamburger has to turn out gray, greasy, paper-thin and tasteless.” Amen, Ernest. Check out the full recipe below:

Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway Papers Collection, Museum Ernest

—Andrea Billups

FILED UNDER: Burgers , Food , Food News , Recipes

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Guest on

Sorry, I cannot eat pink, (even in just the middle) hamburger. My meat needs to be cooked, not dried out, and yes it can be done without ruining taste, texture, and quality.

John J Foote on

Sounds good, Love Beau Monde. The crisping part was common,that is the way my mother and grand mother did it;love it a little pink.

Jess on

Mmmm capers sounds interesting. I love capers in my pasta but never tried it on a burger. My mother has always browned the outside until it’s very crispy. Yum

Colleen on

Had never heard of the Mei Yen Seasoning, found this online at:

“Mei Yen Seasoning Substitute
I contacted Spice Islands asking them if they could recommend a substitution for Mei Yen seasoning as several recipes in their cookbook require it and I could find it no where. They responded as follows:

Spice Islands Mei Yen has been discontinued, but you can make your own by combing: 9 parts salt, 9 parts sugar, 2 parts MSG

Combine and store in tightly closed container. To use, if recipe calls for 1 tsp. Mei Yen: use 2/3 tsp. substitute recipe and either 1/8 tsp. bouillon powder or 1/8 tsp. soy sauce. “

try here on

Microsoft announced Forza Motorsport 6: Apex last month at a media event held by the company to discuss their future plans for PC gaming. You should be able to make your own health potions, PP potions, and Pokeballs. On larger maps the Shadow is in fact the Core’s best option for mounting an effective early-game offensive.

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