A Name Change

In 1950, Ralph Edwards, host of the long-running and highly successful radio program Truth or Consequences, announced that the show would broadcast from the first town that renamed itself to the same name as the program. Little Hot Springs, new Mexico (population a little more than 4500 at the time), jumped at the chance.

In May of the year, the show was broadcast amidst a festival-type atmosphere. The town liked the celebration so much, they decided to hold it again the following year and it became an annual tradition they now call Fiesta. Ralph Edwards attended each of the next 50 years until his death.

Changing the name of a city is not common, but it does happen. In many cases it small towns that are attempting some favor, but there have been a number of times when very large cities have changed. Here are a few:

  • Constantinople becomes Istanbul – For centuries, the city was called by a variety of names. When Constantine took it over and it became his capital, it was named Constantinople. As centuries progressed, it once again became called by several names by the residents and as modern postal delivery took hold, the need for one official name became critical. As many locals called it Istanbul (which means “the city”), the name stuck.
  • St. Petersburg becomes Leningrad becomes St. Petersburg – Czar Peter the Great named the city and made it his capital. While officially named after the Saint, many believe it was a way for the Czar to elevate himself to sainthood. The burg part was there as a nod to Peter’s German roots. After World War 1 began, the name was changed to Petrograd to become more Russian and when Vladamir Lenin passed away in 1924, it was renamed to Leningrad. Once the Soviet Union fell apart, citizens voted to return the name to St. Petersburg.
  • Bombay becomes Mumbai – Similar to the story of St. Petersburg, an occupying force was also the cause of the name change here. The British, who controlled India for centuries, officially recognized the city as Bombay starting in the 1600s. After India gained independence, the idea of a name that was more Indian percolated and in 1995, Mumbai was adopted.
  • Peking becomes Beijing – The city that is the current capital of China has gone by dozens of names in its history. In the late 1930’s, Japan occupied the country and designated the city be called Peking. It switched to Beiping once the Japanese forces were driven out in 1945, but once again reverted to Peking in 1949 when the communist party took over. Beijing, a former name of the city, became popular and started to be recognized by the government in 1957 and was officially used outside of the country in the late 1970s.

Crunchy Peking Burgers

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Whatever the name is, it has some good flavor.

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Note the ginger, soy and water chestnuts. Not typical burger ingredients.

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Making the sauce.

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Beef, ginger, garlic, water chestnuts and onions.

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I kept the patties small as we were low-carbbing it and they fit better on my indoor grill that way.

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Cooking away.

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A nice crunchy texture and great flavor.

Crunchy Peking Burgers

 Servings: 4 | Difficulty: Easy


1/2 cup canned water chestnuts, drained
2 scallions
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp dry sherry
1 tsp Splenda
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp grated ginger root 

1 1/2 tbsp low sugar apricot preserves
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp grated ginger root 


Preheat grill. 

Chop the water chestnuts a bit, and slice the scallions. Put them in a mixing bowl with all the other burger ingredients, and, using clean hands, mix them well. Form into 4 burgers, and put them on the grill. Cook for 5 minutes. 

While the burgers are cooking, mix together the preserves, soy sauce, and ginger root in a small dish. When the burgers are done, top each with a teaspoon of sauce, and serve.

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Categories: Beef 2, Chinese, Fruit 2, Grilled, kosher, Low Carb, Lunch3, Recipes, Sandwich or Wrap, Wine

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

7 Comments on “A Name Change”

  1. February 28, 2015 at 11:14 am #

    That meat looks undercooked if you ask me! haha
    What do you think about steak tartare? It’s just wrong, right? 😉


  2. February 28, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    Oooh, those look fun! Whatever the name is!


  3. February 28, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

    Maybe Siu Mai burger it looks like it may taste a bit like siu mai from the dim sum menu. Yummy!


  4. February 28, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

    Great history lesson! Interesting Chinese take on burgers – anything with the Chinese “holy trinity” of ginger, garlic and spring onions always tastes good, so will give it a try.


  5. March 1, 2015 at 10:37 am #

    Walmart is my only grocery option within a 30 minute drive and they don’t have water chestnuts 😦 Guess I’ll have to wait to try this until I can stop at a different grocery store while I’m traveling. Where did you find yours?


    • March 1, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

      I’d look again in Walmart. Look down the “ethnic” aisle where the soy sauce is kept. Even here in non-asian Ohio, they are ever-present.


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