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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, January 08, 2010

White Castle

If you have been following this blog you will know that we are not huge consumers of fast food. In fact we seldom have fast food which is fine with me. We were out on Boxing Day to finish up a bit of shopping for our Christmas celebration on the 28th. Boxing Day is a statutory Canadian holiday with some stores holding huge sales. We decided to avoid any shopping crowds so headed to the US. On the way home we picked up a bit of take-out food.

White Castle crave case and burgersCrave Case™

White Castle® is a take-out burger chain that specializes in the cutest little burgers you have ever seen. I'm not sure what it is about these burgers that are affectionately called Slyders™ but you either love them or hate them. There's no in between. Those who love them are called cravers and their purchase of choice is the Crave Case™. This is a case of 30 burgers with or without cheese or pickle. A sack of 10 burgers is available or you can buy less but this is one time to buy more!

The exterior of the White Castle® buildings is designed to look like a miniature white castle with blue trim. Food can be ordered through their indoor take-out counter or their drive-through. The burgers themselves are unique for two reasons. First they are miniature burgers and second the burger patties are steamed on a bed of onions yet they are never flipped in a process called steam-grilling. White Castle® first opened in Wichita, KS in 1921 as the first American burger chain. They did not use frozen patties until 1931. The all beef patties are square with a signature 5 holes similar to the 5 face on a die. The chopped onions are placed on a hot griddle then the patties placed on top of the onions followed by the bottom buns. When cooked the burger and onion is slid onto the top bun. A signature pickle slice is added for those wanting pickles and cheese is an option. The miniature burgers. Each burger is about 2½ x 2½ - inch square and about 1½ - inch high. They are the perfect size for toddlers but count on a lot more for adults.

White Castle cheeseburgersWhite Castle® Cheeseburgers

These burgers are so well loved by Cravers that cases of them are taken home then frozen and reheated as the crave hits. White Castle® restaurants are located in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. They are so popular some of the grocery stores in these states sell frozen White Castle® burgers in the frozen food section with or without cheese but no pickle. Pictured are two Slyders™ from the Crave Case™reheated and ready to enjoy.

Cravers living where they don't sell Slyders™ have been known to even fly in a case or two of Slyders™. Recently there have been copycat recipes online to make these little beauties at home. I checked out a couple that use fresh onions but White Castle® uses rehydrated onions. At any rate that shows how far Cravers will go to fulfill their craving. I may even try making Slyders™ at home just to see how close I can come to the original. These would be great for Superbowl Sunday entertaining!


6 food lovers commented:

A Year on the Grill said...

In the early 60's (I am old), my parents family lived about 150 miles from us in St. Louis. We made the drive to visit often on long weekends. We would leave for home after church, and stop at White Castle and buy 20 hamburgers... cost... $1.00

Thanks for the memory nudge

Stephanie said...

We've been using the recipe here http://www.bigredkitchen.com/2009/06/white-castle-like-sliders-how-to.html and my kids love them. Because the burger part is easy to make, we usually set up a topping bar more than I would regular hamburgers? Avacado and bacon are my favorite toppings!

Garden Gnome said...

Your welcome for the memories Dave. The 30 pk crave case is now $20.10. Goodness that is quite the price difference isn't it?

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Stephanie and thanks for visiting. Thanks to for the link for a copycat recipe. I checked out the site and there are a couple of problems in method that unless have never had a White Castle Slyder™ you wouldn't pick up on. The White Castle burgers are steamed using frozen square patties with 5 holes which prevents the patty from thickening when cooked. It's that patty thinness that is important to keep when trying to duplicate the Slyder™. Baking as seen in the picture creates too much browning as well. Not that this recipe is not good, just it's not much like a real Slyder™.

What I'm thinking will work is rolling out a sheet of burger then cut while raw, put the holes in and then freeze. Starting with a frozen patty will give closer results or at least that's what I'm hoping. I'll report back on the results.

Mamame said...

Don't forget the grease that soaks into the bun! I LOVE White Castle. Hubby doesn't. I get it when I'm out by myself shopping and love every bite. My usual order is 4 cheeseburgers, an order of onion rings and a coke. Yep - my full daily allotment of calories and probably 2 days of fat. But OH so worth it!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Mamame and thanks for visiting. That grease even though it isn't much is what makes them 'sliders' even though White Castle trademarked 'Slyders". Each cheeseburger is 188 calories but once in awhile it doesn't hurt especially if you eat fairly healthy the rest of the time :)