May 15th is Sliders day. The day we celebrate the 1990s Sci-Fi show with star Jerry O’Conell…. Wait, I’m being told that is completely wrong… Jerry O’ Connell was never a star. Also, Slider day is in honor of those mini burgers, not some FOX show that no one misses.. especially not me (you’ll make it home one day Professor Arturo.. stay brave).
Sliders are sold in may places these days. Applebee’s, TGI Fridays and other cruddy restaurants that sell microwaved rubber disguised as food all have them on their menu, but the most famous slider peddler would have to be White Castle.
White Castle was started in 1921. Founders Walt Anderson and Billy Ingram had a mountain to climb though because the public’s perception of ground beef was not good. The book The Jungle, which described the horrible practices of meat factories, had been released 17 years earlier but was still fresh in the public minds (before the internet people had to focus one thing for longer because there as much to read).
To combat the negative public opinion of meat they gave their restaurants white porcelain walls, stainless steel decor and employees nice clean uniforms to give off the appearance of being clean. They would go as far as to advertise the burgers as healthy. Personally, I don’t think anything that’s served out of a “sack” can be called healthy… but it works for farm animals, so whatever.
The sliders themselves were made thin and with holes to cook faster. Mr. Anderson* is often credited with inventing the hamburger bun and the assembly style of cooking, pretty much making White Castle the first fast food restaurant, predating McDonald’s first location by 19 years.
*If you’re like me, you are incapable of saying Mr. Anderson in a voice that doesn’t mimic Agent Smith from the Matrix.