Believe it or not there was a time when America was put off by the idea of eating a quick sandwich filled with a warm ground beef patty. This dark era of mankind before the cheeseburger was when Walter Anderson saw an opportunity to change the American public’s perception of eating ground beef by founding a new pure chain of fast food restaurants.
Low cost beef was seen as unhygienic and dirty due to some very bad publicity created by the release of a book that reveal some horrific practices (workers falling into meat processing tanks and being ground and sold as product) in the meat packing industry.
He also wanted his burgers to be as low cost as possible so he made them small and came up with his own streamlined and efficient cooking process that is still unique in the business today.
The small 5 cent burger that he came up with is what is now affectionately known as a Slider and has become its very own sub-category of burger. White Castle sells its own original burgers under the trademark Slyders, these will always be known as the first and the best.
This is our own brief interpretation of what all sliders should have in common, if you have something to add then use the comment form below!
White Castle began back in the day by using fresh ground beef but now uses frozen patties so the method has changed to keep up with the times but the principle remains the same.
You can check out White Castle’s own explanation here.
Sliders have now taken their place in the burger world and have become a sub-category of their own. The mini-burgers have a loyal following all across America and are served up in budget burger joints for $1.25 and as ‘gourmet’ sliders for $10.
You can even buy frozen White Castle Slyders at the grocery store and zap them in your microwave or more dedicated fans might want to try creating your own Sliders at home, our friends have made that easy here.
We will be publishing our own slider recipes here soon so be sure to check back soon.
You might know more about Sliders than we do so we invite you to leave a comment and contribute to this article.]]>
The aim of the game is to produce the legendary Kobe Beef. This beef is rich, tender and juicy and cannot be matched by any other beef. It comes from the Wagyu breed of cow that has the unique genetics to create such a highly regarded meat.
The Wagyu cow has fat that is spread throughout its muscle structure that produces a marbled like design in the meat. Its this distribution of fat that gives the unique flavor and texture.
To be called Kobe Beef the meat must not only come from a Wagyu cow but also have been produced in Kobe and meet rigid production standards.
Beer and massages I hear you ask? Lets begin with the beer issue. Your everyday cow is fed on a diet so unappetizing that it has to be force fed when it is young, this is to ensure the cow puts on enough weight to get a higher sale price at slaughter.
But the Kobe cow is given a very high quality feed and is not force fed. Once in a while the cattle is given a drink of beer, the effect of the beer is to increase the cows appetite so it eats more. Because it isn’t force fed, the cow is generally less stressed and everybody knows that a stressed cow gives tougher meat?
This brings us to massaging. Farmers hand massage the cows to tenderize the meat and to relax the cow. The farmers insist that this directly affects the quality of the meat and those who have tasted the meat aren’t disputing that claim.
Japan is so protective of its beloved Kobe Beef that the Government has strictly limited all exports of the meat to a minimum. Farmers in the USA and Scotland raise Wagyu cattle and sell the meat as Kobe Style or Scottish Kobe. And the price? Well a pound of authentic Kobe Beef wholesales at over $80 and a pound of Scottish Kobe Sirloin sells for £23 ($40).
Kobe burgers can be seen on the menus of the most exclusive eateries all over the world. At the Old Homestead Steakhouse, New York a Kobe-style burger will cost you a mere $41. Kobe burgers are also on the menu at Lucky Devils in LA, which offers a massive Kobe burger served either standard, with caramelized onions, Arugula and garlic aioli on a brioche bun, or as one of “Lucky’s Favorites,” fully loaded with all of the above plus Maytag blue cheese, Gruyère cheese and Nueske bacon.
When it comes to expensive Kobe Burgers, LA is a burger mecca.
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Although we may rightly perceive the burger, with all its parts, as thoroughly American, it may come as a surprise to discover that at least one of its major components has distinctly exotic origins.
It is ironic indeed that this more exotic component is the one most commonly associated with America and American food – our beloved all purpose condiment, ketchup.
The slender bottle with its jaunty white cap, flaunting its rich crimson contents, is known and recognized all over the world, valued for what it represents, the proud scarlet standard of the American experience.
The use of ketchup on burgers was inevitable; by the time the hamburger made its first major appearance, at around the turn of the century, ketchup had already become entrenched as the primary and most popular of condiments.
For most of the world ketchup is defined by its American-ness which is in large part a characterization that is positive and attractive. For America at its best is a place that has something for everyone, and ketchup is a sauce that has something for everyone as well.
Ketchup has a complex heritage – the piquant spicy-sweet sauces and relishes of Asia, the tangy vinegars of Western Europe, an exotic, brilliantly colored New World fruit. But for all its complicated background, ketchup boils down to a sauce that is fairly simple and primal in its appeal.
Ketchups thick, smooth texture and rich red color are unprecedented in a world that has long and avidly pursued meaty, full-bodied, highly colored sauces as a vehicle for the enhancement of food. Its sweetness, though not necessarily attractive to everyone, is nonetheless a universally appealing taste, especially to the young, whose preferences historically have never been given much weight but whose culture is paramount in much of the contemporary world.
Ketchups spiciness and acidity are toned down to avoid dominating or overwhelming unaccustomed palates, particularly, again, for the young.
And this is in the end why we love ketchup so much and why the world has come to love it on our burgers. It represents what we value most in ourselves and what we have cultivated as the best in American character. Ketchup is a friendly, open, no-frills kind of sauce, innovative in a simple, home grown fashion, savvy without being sophisticated.
Ketchup is unabashedly democratic in its capacity to offer a little something to everyone.
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How American Cheese Is Made
American Cheese is made by grinding up different kids of cheese, usually Swiss and cheddar types, then pasteurizing the resulting mixture to prevent any further microbial action. Various additives such as gums, emulsifiers and stabilizers are added, as well as milk solids or cream that enrich the cheese.
The result is a substance that is bland and smooth, with a uniform flavor and texture, good melting qualities, and a long shelf life. American Cheese is sold in rectangular one or two pound blocks, or packaged in square slices between sealed sheets of plastic wrap.
The Origins Of American Cheese
American Cheese was originally created in the early twentieth century by James L. Kraft, a Chicago cheese merchant, as a scientific approach to the mass marketing of cheese; and as the company he founded has become the world’s largest cheese manufacturer, his idea must be acknowledged as a commercial success.
Why American Cheese Is So Popular
The key to the success of American Cheese is that it eliminates the characteristics that makes cheese less appealing and saleable, while retaining the sensory attributes that make it more widely attractive.
Natural cheese has a rich flavor and strong smell that offends non-cheese eaters, it also has a very short shelf life and is very expensive to produce. American cheese is smooth and mild flavored, has almost no smell and can be produced for shockingly little money.
The appealing characteristics that American cheese capitalizes on are its golden color, its creamy and smooth texture, and more importantly for a cheeseburger, its heavenly melting character.
No matter how much of a bad image it has gained in recent years, the addiction of a slice of American cheese to the humble hamburger provides the extra sensory gratification that makes the cheeseburger so satisfying.
The cheese represents something more, something better, and something richer. It is an added bonus, an extravagant additional layer that is there to provide more pleasure and not because it is needed. The slice of American cheese is an affirmation of the total indulgence that the cheeseburger as a whole represents.
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Round and puffed with an eye-catching sprinkle of sesame seeds, it is the focus, the center, the treasure chest that holds the precious burger and its toppings.
The burger bun is parted slightly to reveal some, but not all, of its juicy cargo, offering a tantalizing glimpse of anticipated delights and hidden surprises.
But the bun itself is all there, out in the open, for our immediate acknowledgment, soft yet sturdy, reliable and familiar. It does not evoke excitement or salivation, like the burger itself, but functions rather as the housing, the essential structure that holds everything together.
Its flavor provides a rightfully bland base for the super rich contents, its texture is soft and supple yet sturdy enough to stand up to a warm burger with its juicy accompaniments. Its inviting shape, round and puffed, is a promise of homely richness, its lack of corners and hard edges an indication of ampleness and generosity.
Yet nothing about the bun gets in the way of the burger itself, no crusty exterior, no overpowering smell, no chewy texture. The bun alone may not appeal to every taste but as a crucial support system of the cheeseburger, it fulfills its function admirably – pleasing everyone, offending no one.
The burger may be what we’re after, that hunk of meat whose juice and flavor we long to indulge in, but the cheeseburger is nothing without the bun.
We must give thanks to the burger bun.
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With lots of inspirational burger recipes and a great list of toppings you should even be able to come up with your own ideas for a great burger.
Unlike most traditional recipes, burger recipes can be tweaked to accommodate even the most out of this world taste. The simple addition of a slice of cheese, a special spice or something more obscure can alter the taste and feel of burger entirely.
Below is a list of simple ingredients that you can add to the ground beef mixture before cooking to give your basic burger a personal touch. The amount added is completely up to the cooks personal preference and what the heck you could even add two!
It’s best to add these ingredients an hour or two before cooking to allow the flavors to infuse into the meat.
Experiment with your burgers by adding some of these ingredients:
How about trying something other than tomato ketchup on your burgers? The range of condiments out there is more or less limitless but this list is a good start:
The aim of the game is to try new things, something you’ve never even heard about before.
So what are you waiting for? Begin with this Basic Cheeseburger Recipe.
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Try one of our chili sauce recipes with your burgers, they are quick and easy to make and you might just find one that you love.
We hope you find a chili sauce you love. Don’t forget to try them with one of our Burger Recipes and also take a look at our milder Relish Recipes.
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A teaspoon of relish is often placed in between the bottom burger bun and beef patty in a typical burger. Some say burgers aren’t complete without a relish.
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Try one of our specially selected Teriyaki Burger recipes from all over the world.
About Teriyaki Burgers
Teriyaki burgers have become very popular in the western world because Teriyaki sauce is so simple to make and combines perfectly with the grilling or broiling of meat.
The word “Teriyaki” is a combination of two Japanese words teri and yaki. Teri means shine or luster, referring to the shine of the sauce on the meat, yaki means the cooking method (grilling or broiling).
So Teriyaki Burgers should have a shiny patty and cooked on a grill or broiler, Teriyaki Burgers can be made from chicken, beef, pork and even lamb meat.
The Teriyaki sauce used for making Teriyaki Burgers will vary depending on the recipe but will usually be made up of soy sauce, sake, mirin, brown sugar and fresh ginger.
If you are in a hurry or would like a simpler recipe you can use a store bought Teriyaki sauce.
Teriyaki Burger Cooking Tips
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New Topping Ideas, User Submitted:
Our Burger Toppings List:
Have your own special topping idea? Submit it and we will add it to the list…
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