Ernest Hemingway did not like to eat a boring hamburger.
“There is no reason why a fried hamburger has to turn out gray, greasy, paper-thin and tasteless,” he wrote in her personal recipe for the American classic. “You can add all sorts of goodies and flavors to the ground beef – minced mushrooms, cocktail sauce, minced garlic and onions, ground almonds, a big dollop of Piccalilli, or whatever your eye lights on.” But that’s not all, Hemingway would also add India relish, Spice Islands Beau Monde Seasoning and Spice Islands Mei Yen Power to his feasts.
After Hemingway’s death in 1961, as relations between the US and Cuba deteriorated, Mary needed help getting back into Cuba to reclaim documents and memorabilia. President Kennedy and Fidel Castro intervened to make it possible – which explains the JFK library’s interest in Hemingway’s papers. This recipe was among those left behind.