The earliest hamburger relative, meat tartare, was born far, far away from the United States. It might sound French at first, and sure, the raw beef dish frequently served with rye and a raw egg can probably be found at your local French spot. But it's origins are even farther east. Motz says this style of meat actually comes from the tartars, a group of people from modern-day Russia. Back in the 13th century, while riding around on horseback for days at a time, the tartars would put mutton—sheep meat—under their saddles to tenderize the meat, and then chop it up and eat it raw.