The German Meat Patties Before the Hamburger

 It's served without French fries or other hamburger toppings, despite its familiar shape. 

The first difference between a frikadellen and an American burger is its bunlessness.

Frikadellen contains a Kaiser roll or stale bread soaked in water or milk and mixed into the meat. 

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Bread, like meatballs, prevents the dish from drying out during cooking. 

It's often served as an appetizer but can be a meal. Miniature patties with mustard or a dipping sauce may be served.

Instead, American hamburgers may only use ground beef, salt, and pepper.

In Germany, frikadellen is served without a bun but rarely alone. Mashed potatoes or a spicy German potato salad with mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, and onion often accompany it.

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