A Jucy Lucy or Juicy Lucy is a cheeseburger with cheese inside the meat instead of on top, resulting in a melted core of cheese. Two bars in Minneapolis claim to be the inventor of the burger, though other bars and restaurants have created their own interpretations of the style.
|Alternative names||Juicy Lucy|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Region or state||Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Created by||Multiple claims|
|Main ingredients||Hamburger, cheese|
|600 kcal (2512 kJ)|
The burger is prepared by putting cheese between two patties of meat, then sealing both patties around the cheese to create a single patty with a cheese core. As the burger cooks, the cheese inside melts. This has the effect of keeping the meat near the center of the burger very juicy. It also separates the cheese from the bun, resulting in a slightly different texture than the usual cheeseburger. Burger toppings such as condiments, onions, and pickles may be added.
Two bars about three miles (5 km) from each other on Cedar Avenue in South Minneapolis both claim to have invented the burger: Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club. Matt's credits the bar's former owner (and namesake) Matt Bristol. One account claims it preceded his purchase of the bar in the 1950s, but that Bristol formally added it to the menu and thus popularized it. Another version is that the burger was invented by a customer in 1954 who remarked "Oooh, that's one juicy lucy!" after biting into it. The 5-8 Club does not provide a particular origin story, but the bar itself was originally a speakeasy dating to the 1920s.
The two bars offer slightly different versions of the burger. One difference is the spelling: Matt's removes the letter "i" in "Juicy" (supposedly an inadvertent misspelling dating to the burger's creation), while the 5-8 Club utilizes the normal spelling. Shirts worn by staff at the 5-8 Club have the motto "if it's spelled right, it's done right" while advertising for Matt's Bar says "Remember, if it is spelled correctly, you are eating a shameless rip-off!" The 5-8 Club offers several different cheese options for their version while the version at Matt's only contains American cheese.
The rivalry between both bars and their interpretations is longstanding, but has gained more exposure since receiving a mention in Time in 2008 and being featured on food-related television shows such as Man v. Food and Food Wars. In 2014, President Barack Obama visited Matt's and had a jucy lucy, prompting the 5-8 Club to offer him one of theirs.
In 2018, the editors of the Thrillist wrote that "The Jucy Lucy is ... an important milestone in the evolution of hamburgers themselves, leading the charge for industrious chefs (and more than a few infomercial entrepreneurs) to begin stuffing their burgers."
Variations of the burger at other area restaurants are encouraged rather than quashed. Most use the same basic preparation procedures but offer different variations in terms of toppings, the burger's filling, and any accompaniments.
- Grumdahl, Dara Moskowitz (August 12, 1998). "A Tribe Called Lucy". City Pages. Archived from the original on July 15, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Flower, Justin; Boller, Jay (March 13, 2008). "Burger Battle". Minnesota Daily.
- Zimmern, Andrew; Mogren, Molly (2012). Andrew Zimmern's Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild, and Wonderful Foods. Macmillan. pp. 110–111. ISBN 9780312606619 – via Google Books.
- Turtinen, Melissa (March 17, 2014). "Minneapolis bar tops Travel Channel's chow down list". Bring Me the News.
- Hammerand, Jim (June 26, 2014). "Obama takes a position in Juicy Lucy wars". Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.
- "The 101 Dishes That Changed America". Thrillist. March 20, 2018.
- Brenden, Carl (February 12, 2014). "The 8 Best Juicy Lucys in MSP". Thrillist.
- Henderson, Eric (May 5, 2011). "Best Juicy Lucys In The Twin Cities". CBS Minnesota.
- Media related to Jucy Lucy at Wikimedia Commons