Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My castle is the white one...

While having a quick discussion at work with an employee, I thought about a food product.  These tasty and small morsels have infiltrated ever level of American culture since their invention in 1921!  The small burgers which have been mass produced and sold out of white edifices, complete with parapets and stone walls, showed up first in Kansas in 1921 where they were first sold for 5 cents each.  Can you imagine paying a nickel for a white castle hamburger now?

The story has it that after the novel, The Jungle, was release and showed how unsanitary the meat-packing industry was, two people set out to bring ground beef back to the tables of so many families.  They tried to make their restaurants look as clean as they could and did so by designing the interior with stainless steel and white walls.  The very first castle buildings were made of porcelain.

The two partners who founded White Castle, Anderson and Ingram, became well known for delivering the same quality of product, in any of their locations, partly because not only did Anderson invent the hamburger bun, but he also invented the food assembly line.  This was the first fast food restaurant and everything that we associate good fast food with, started with White Castle.  They started making their own meat plants and even their own bakeries.  A restaurant could get freshly ground beef, onions and freshly baked buns all for their restaurant.  They soon started to make their own factories to make paper hats, building materials for other castle restaurants and even the boxes and packages.  It was completely self sustained and did everything but raise their own cows and grow their own wheat.

Musicians from Eminem to the Beastie Boys have sung songs involving White Castle hamburgers.  Movies, such as Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, show off how popular the food is with those who smoke pot or do other drugs. 

While things are done a bit differently now, no one can argue that even at the inflated price, White Castle hamburgers are not worth their weight in gold.  I feel like picking up a crave case right now.

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