Apparently, the Egg McMuffin didn’t just always exist. In fact, when it was invented in 1972, the sandwich was a game changer for breakfast everywhere. According to the then president of McDonald’s, Ray Kroc’s, 1977 autobiography Grinding it Out: The making of McDonald’s, it all began when Herb Peterson and his assistant Donald Greadel asked Kroc to check something out, without giving any details about what it was. While in the process of trying to create their own version of a fast-food eggs Benedict, they accidentally created what is credited as the first ever breakfast sandwich. That’s right folks, everything you love about the classic breakfast sandwich wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for the McDonald’s company and a random, but tasty, bout of experimentation!
The sandwich that Peterson and Greadel presented to Kroc consisted of an egg that had been strategically cooked and formed in Teflon circle with the yolk purposefully broken, laid on top of a slice of cheese melted perfectly and topped with a slice of grilled ham, served opened face on a toasted and buttered English muffin. Patty Turner, the wife of a McDonald’s executive, came up with the name that we all know the sandwich by today: the Egg McMuffin.
The invention of the Egg McMuffin began an entirely new era for fast-food, moving McDonald’s from being solely a burger joint to also a one-stop shop for your on-the-go, hot morning breakfast. The very first Egg McMuffin was sold at the Belleville, New Jersey location within the same year. And though it took nearly three years for the sandwich to be completely integrated within the McDonald’s system, it was already receiving praise through TIME as being an example of how the fast-food chain “pays close attention to suggestions from behind the counter.”
McDonalds changed the breakfast sandwich game again with the introduction of the McGriddle, a breakfast sandwich between two syrup filled pancakes.
The Sausage McMuffin with Egg is officially put into the breakfast rotation, offering an alternative to the OG McMuffin's ham.
It took three years for the Egg McMuffin to find broad release but it reshaped the fast food breakfast game.
In 1972, McDonald's employees Herb Peterson and Donald Graedel attempt to make an eggs benedict but instead create an entirely new breakfast food.
Of course the best way to celebrate the Egg McMuffin is to actually eat an Egg McMuffin! Head out to your nearest McDonald's and enjoy the meal that made the breakfast sandwich a fast-food staple and a household name all over the world.
Not a fan of the Egg McMuffin? No need to worry. With other breakfast items such as the McGriddle, the Sausage Biscuit, Big Breakfast, and Hotcakes, there's a little something for everyone!
The name "breakfast sandwich" wouldn't exist if it weren't for the innovation of McDonald's Egg McMuffin in the early 1970s. Celebrate this invention by making your very own breakfast sandwich at home, filled with everything you could want in your first meal of the day.
What's better than an Egg McMuffin? A free Egg McMuffin! Using the McDonald's app, anyone can get a free Egg McMuffin on March 2 from 6am to 10:30am!
What would your life be like if there were no such thing as breakfast sandwiches? Probably super inconvenient. How would you ever eat a filling and delicious breakfast on the go? You wouldn't, you'd be stuck at home, using a fork and knife, and wishing you were able to chew faster. Thanks, McDonald's!
No matter your fast-food breakfast of choice, their breakfast items wouldn't even be a thought if McDonald's didn't do it first. So from fast-food breakfast lovers everywhere, we say "thank you, McDonald's, for making breakfast a little easier."