Categorized | Ask A Foodie

Why are Those Tiny Burgers Called ‘Sliders’?

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A. We’ve been seeing “sliders” on menus lately. I know they are very small burgers, but I am wondering where the name came from.     — Alison

B. I thought that it was probably because they were so delicious they slid easily down the throat.  Or maybe they were so greasy, as a friend of mine suggested. Checking with the White Castle website (originators of “sliders”) and a Google search, turned up some other ideas about the name.

White Castle started marketing its small, square burgers with five holes in them in 1921. The burgers at this Wichita, Kansas store were 5 cents apiece and were steamed on a bed of chopped onions. The holes in the burgers were to speed the cooking.

When the founder pocketed $3.75 at the end of the first day, he knew he was onto something, says the White Castle website. The small burgers, sold by the sackful, were called sliders.

Unless I missed it, the website doesn’t say exactly why the burgers were called “sliders.” But, we checked at Chow Hound to find an amusing discussion of this very topic. Also, Wikipedia mentions that the term is sometimes spelled “slyders” but I didn’t see that particular spelling on the White Castle website.

Anyone else care to tackle this probing question?

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