When we think of White Castle, of course Harold and Kumar is one of the first things that comes to mind. But it’s not just about two grown men enjoying their fast food. It’s all about those sliders. So on that note, it’s time to order up 10 White Castle slider facts that you never realized.
10. Frozen White Castle Sliders
White Castle delivery? Yes, but this service is a thing of the past now and all of you who might be planning to get their sliders delivered to your door will be sorely disappointed to hear this news. But nevertheless, it is worth mentioning. During the 1980s, White Castle decided to deliver their burgers, in frozen form, all across the United States. Not only that, but right to your door in a span of 24 hours. The service was inspired by people shipping their own frozen burgers back in the 1940s. Called the “Hamburgers to Fly” program, it was pretty successful at the time. While popular, the service didn’t last. I guess the powers that be at White Castle decided it would be easier to package their own frozen sliders and put them into the freezer section in supermarkets. Which they did. So you can always depend on Amazon or the freezer aisle sliders to save the day.
9. Flipping is passé, White Castle uses holes
Usually burger patties are flipped over to thoroughly cook them. But White Castle apparently does not follow any strict rules on that front. They just do their own thing when it comes to cooking up their beef patties. You see, each patty is riddled with five holes. This strategy has been adopted in order to cook the burgers faster. The idea was proposed by Earl Howell, a White Castle employee in 1954. According to Howell, this method would help to speed up the production process along with keeping up with the huge demand in the market. Also the onion flavor in the burgers gets enhanced during this cooking process. The burger sears on just one side; this method makes sure that while the patty is cooked all the way through, it also keeps in all of it’s flavors. So as long as White Castle sliders keep satisfying our cravings, whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it right!
8. A slider for lovers’ delight
Many fast food franchises try to capitalize on the Hallmark Holiday of Valentine’s Day and White Castle is no different on that front. You can make a reservation if you plan on celebrating the eternal love between you and your significant other. The White Castle restaurant is decorated for the occasion, complete with the ambience required to set the mood. Maybe some slider scented candles would be a propos. Further enhancing the Valentine’s spirit are red and pink heart decorations, a wait staff, and table cloths designed specifically for the occasion. The lights are also dimmed to further add to the ambience. The vice president of White Castle expressed that in recent years the demand for getting reservations on Valentine’s Day has increased and that shows people are interested in spending time at the restaurant. But on the “holiday of love,” true love will be tested on the basis of sharing those sliders.
7. Go vegetarian at White Castle
Well this was bound to happen. Many popular chains have hopped on the vegetarian bandwagon, wanting to cater to people’s ever changing eating habits. Every restaurant wants to attract new customers and White Castle was not going to sit back and do nothing when it came to exactly that. They wanted to broaden their client base by introducing some more health friendly menu options. So White Castle introduced veggie sliders made with zucchini, peas, spinach, broccoli, beans, and carrots. You could get inventive and throw in some sweet Thai sauce or mustard. That wasn’t the end of it, they also added vegan items to their menu, and there are now quite a few plant based options you can choose from. The vegan menu continues to expand as they also recently added the black bean slider which consists of dairy free buns, black beans, corn and red pepper. This is a slider that’s hard to ignore as a lot of people have had many good things to say about it. Partnering with Impossible Foods, they also have the Impossible Slider, and it impersonates a beef patty both in looks and in taste. This one is also vegan friendly and that’s a good thing for those looking for more options when visiting White Castle. Fun fact. Kal Penn was not eating the classic White Castle Burger in the Harold and Kumar movie, as he is a vegetarian. His burger was a fake! But as long as it got the message across as to how good their burgers taste, it’s all in good fun and health. But if they ever decide to pull off something similar in a sequel, he will not have to fake it this time around, as he will have many options to choose from.
6. ‘Knighted’ worthy of the Castle
The competition was tough, the list was long, and there was drool everywhere. But there could be only one that would come out on top and be honored for serving fans and passers-by alike since its inception. Time Magazine made a list of the 17 most influential burgers of all time in 2014 and the White Castle Slider made it to the top spot. Now that’s some achievement if you think about it. Beating out burger giants like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s is no small task. Now it wasn’t just the burger itself that was taken into account which made it numero uno. There were factors like cleanliness and hygiene that also helped the burger fight its way through the competition and shine on the pedestal. Since its debut in 1921, the iconic square patty has managed to spawn a fast food empire and since then, there has been no looking back. Now that the burger has been properly honored, it can proudly take its throne in the castle and continue to satisfy all those cravings; not that the throne was going anywhere. Let us now hope that there will be many more victorious battles to secure its kingdom and remain on top forever more.
5. Good things come in small packages
What is the best way to dispatch as many burgers as possible and meet the demands of a lot of people in a short amount of time? Make them tiny. You might be well familiar that the White Castle burgers are small and thin in appearance. This is done so the beef patty cooks quickly and so the patty can cook in it’s own juices while locking in all that flavor. Many other fast food restaurants have followed suit when it comes to their burger sizes, going thinner, to both decrease cooking times and increase flavor. Listen, who’s really complaining about the size of the burgers anyways? Isn’t it supposed to be all about quality over quantity? But for those who are planning their first slider experience at White Castle, can a single slider really be enough to make a judgement on the item? Well lucky for you, you can always order up more and the best part is you won’t have to wait that long for that order to be ready. Those sliders will be served up in a jiffy.
4. Craving fulfillment comes at a cost, in calories
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that when it comes to fast food items, most of them are not exactly health friendly. White Castle’s sliders follow that protocol as well. You may be loving your fill of burgers, but the nutritional value of what you’re eating also matters. As more and more people become health conscious these days, calorie counts and the amount of fat in fast food items is something that the public wants to be more aware of. Restaurant chains have adapted to public demand and most, if not all, provide the nutritional information and calorie counts of all their menu items. When it comes to a White Castle slider, there are approximately 6 grams of fat in each slider, out of which 2.5 grams is saturated. When it comes to the calories, each slider then has about 140 calories. Of course, since they taste so good, most of us tend to order more than one (or three or five). If you choose to grab a case of 30 sliders to take back home with you, you’re looking at 4200 calories of pure scrumptiousness stored in that one box. So the lesson learned from this particular fact? A single tiny slider doesn’t look so bad. But start adding them up, because really, who’s eating just one, and you start to stack up the fat content and calorie count.
3. Take care of those onions
Yes onions make us cry, but if they are handled artistically, they can make all the difference in adding the perfect flavor to take a burger to the next level. And that’s what White Castle aims for in their sliders, with other famous franchises lagging behind when it comes to the basic use of onions in their food items. When we look back in history and wipe the dust off of the White Castle cookbook, onions used to be freshly cut and sprinkled on the hot grill. But things changed and over time the restaurant evolved in that department. Now the onions are rehydrated to make things a bit easier. Another reason is that fresh onions used to be cut into small sizes, which meant that they had a short shelf life and were hard to manage. With dehydration and rehydration, the restaurant is able to maintain flavor, size and consistency. It’s not only White Castle that gives this special treatment to its onions. Chains like McDonalds also practice this tactic to preserve the flavor. Those sliders might not consist of copious amounts of onion, but just the right amount to add a delicious punch to the overall experience. So there will be no crying over at White Castle.
2. The White Castle Project
Fast food already gets a bad rap when it comes to all things unhealthy and burgers are no exception. But over the years fast food chains have been trying to revamp their menus and add healthy options for the calorie conscious. For those looking for healthier options, things are not as bad as they used to be. You no longer have to go to a restaurant with salad being your only option to order. This wasn’t the case back in the 1930s as White Castle and the hamburger itself were new to the American population. Even though diet was not a top concern to most back then, the recently-invented hamburger had its critics. So White Castle wanted to throw some positive light on their burgers and set out to “prove” that their hamburgers were part of a healthy diet. Now what better way to prove your innocence than getting support from scientific conclusions. Billy Ingram, the co-founder of White Castle, roped in a PhD from the University of Minnesota to prove that their burgers could be a part of healthy living. That’s where Bernard Flesche, a med student comes into the picture, as he became the test subject for this project. He had to eat only White Castle burgers and water for 13 weeks straight. At first, this sounds like bliss, free burgers all day every day. But Flesche eventually got tired of eating 20 sliders a day. That’s a lot of burgers and we don’t blame him, no matter how good they taste. Like the good med student he was, he went on till the end, and Ingram used these results as part of an ad campaign, claiming that one could eat only burgers and water yet still retain all mental and physical faculties. Eventually Flesche became a doctor, but passed at the age of 54. His daughter mentioned that he hated the idea of having burgers after his contribution in the name of science. Now the least White Castle could have done was name a burger after him. Yes it would be ironic, if you take into account his certain dislike for the sliders, but it would’ve been a nice touch. Who else can say that they ate only White Castle sliders for 13 weeks – all in the name of science (well 1930s science that is).
1. Confusing names at White Castle
Coming up with a name that does not sound overly generic and is catchy at the same time can be a nightmare. If you have a fast food business, the names of products have to sound unique so as to differentiate themselves from whatever other chains are selling at the time. That’s the dilemma White Castle was struggling with when they came up with name ‘sliders’ for their burgers. They are small in size as mentioned before and can sometimes be confused as being a mini burger, which they are not. The slider patties are placed on top of the onions, steamed and ready to serve between those iconic looking buns. The company originally trademarked their burgers as ‘slyders,’ with a ‘y,’ just because it sounded and looked cool according to White Castle history. Well the restaurant may have wanted to sell them as ‘slyders with a y,’ but Google does not seem to agree with that name. Search results always pop up as slider with an ‘I’ and mostly people assume that is how you spell it as well. It is amusing to know that a name can confuse the internet when the digital cosmos of the World Wide Web fails to come up with the trademarked name. The confusion doesn’t just end there, as even the White Castle website advertises the product as ‘the original slider’ with an ‘i’ and not ‘slyder’ with a ‘y’. I guess even they gave up trying to convince people of the ‘cool’ spelling. Whoever came up with the name must be frustrated to the core when doing a Google search and trying to convince people how the name should be addressed. But ‘slider with an i’ or ‘slyder with a y,’ we know what it is and we are not complaining – as long as we can order them whenever we want. After all, most people care more about the taste than how to spell the name. You can’t eat the name but you sure can eat the slider.