These Are America’s Most Famous Burger Buns—and You’ve Definitely Tried Them
You've probably eaten it hundreds of times and never noticed. Here's the true story of how this bun rose to fame.
via potatorolls.comIf you’ve had a burger in the past 50 years, chances are you’ve tried it at least once: America’s most famous burger bun. You’ll recognize it from its slight sweetness, pillowy texture, and giveaway yellow crumbs. It’s the bun that doesn’t get soggy, even when met with a juicy tomato slice or dripping patty. It’s the bun that squishes when you grip it, but remains crispy on your tongue. It’s the bun that people across the U.S. have grown to love. Meet Martin’s Famous Potato Roll, the No.1 burger bun in the country. (Use this odd grilling trick to make the perfect burger every time.)
How Did It Get So Popular?
There are so many burger buns on the market, so how did this one rise to fame? Simple: taste. With a buttery sweetness and unique texture of that fluffy core and crispy coating, Martin’s is arguably the gold standard of buns. They’re quite frankly the only store-bought bread we want to be using for our favorite burger recipes.
The rolls were created by the Martin family in the 1950s, based out of a tiny garage in south-central Pennsylvania. Located in Amish country, founders Lois and Lloyd Martin created the roll using a homemade recipe. Their company, Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe Inc., sold the only potato roll on the market. In the early days, the small family business only sold to local grocery stores and delis, but it quickly expanded to compete at the national scale. They hit their height of fame in 2004 when fast-food restaurant Shake Shack decided to use exclusively Martin’s potato rolls for their burgers. Almost overnight, the grocery store brand was catapulted to fame.
The Company Is on a (Potato) Roll
Today, the company is still family-owned and operated. All of the buns are still made in the original location that’s been expanded into a full-fledged factory. Martin’s makes other products as well—hot dog buns and sandwich bread, namely—but the classic four-inch potato roll from the 1950s is the company’s star. The website proclaims it to be the “#1 Branded Hamburger Roll in the United States,” but it’s sold in eleven other countries as well. Even Food Network stars Michael Symon and Bobby Flay swear by Martin’s potato rolls! (Make sure to stop by these retro burger joints all around America.)
Should You Eat It?
Not persuaded yet? We’re not done. Since 2015, Martin’s potato rolls have been GMO-free and free of artificial flavorings and dyes. Social Media Manager Julie Martin says that Martin’s is one of the few companies to use real milk and potatoes, which makes the brand stand out in a realm of highly processed products.
With so many reasons to love America’s favorite burger bun, we’re ready to make it our favorite as well. Pick up a pack in the grocery store on your next trip and get a taste of a time-tested classic. That pillowy-soft center and squishy texture are perfect for cradling whatever you cook up, from tangy pulled pork to our grand prize barbecue burgers.
Can’t find Martin’s Potato Rolls at your local grocer? Buy them (in bulk) online, here.