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Culture Hit-Or-Miss Tastemade/Snapchat

6 Holiday Puddings You Should Know About

It seems like you can’t read a Yuletide tale or sing a carol without mentioning particular puddings by name. But just where to these festive goops come from, and what’s inside of them? We decided to debunk some of December’s sweetest treats that you’ve definitely heard about, even if you’ve never seen or tasted them. So let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first:

 

Christmas Pudding

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Photo: Donald Russell

We start with the grandaddy of all December delectables: the appropriately named Christmas pudding. Also known as plum pudding, this dish is a staple of British Christmas dinner, but has become popular in several of their former colonies as well. Its blend of molasses (called treacle in Britain), sugar, spices, and suet (i.e. cow fat) is steamed and then covered in brandy before being set on fire as a popular holiday centerpiece.

 

Figgy Pudding

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Photo: The Mija Chronicles

“Now bring us some figgy pudding” as the refrain of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” goes. So, here it is. This seasonal favorite is essentially the same as a Christmas pudding but with the sweet addition of (wait for it) figs. It’s a perfect twist on the classic flavor and allows you to maintain the flaming pizzazz of the original.

 

Black Pudding

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Photo: Binn’s Quality Meats

If you’re on the subject of puddings this holiday season, do yourself and your loved ones a favor by skipping over black pudding. While it’s pretty standard in several European countries, blood sausage is still a pretty hard sell in America. Using dried pigs blood, barley or oatmeal, and blend of spices, wheat flour, and hog fats, this conspicuously colored “pudding” is a great source of iron—but a terrible choice for holiday cheer.

 

Bread Pudding

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Photo: Pillsbury

This is one pudding that has definitely made its way stateside, and all for the better. Mixing stale bread in a suspension of milk, cream, eggs and butter makes this dish equal parts creamy and hearty. Then, throw in sugar and spice and dried fruit (esp. raisins) and you’ve got a winning combination.

 

Banana Pudding

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Photo: Tasty Kitchen

If you’re hearing about this in December, it’s probably from a toddler, and he or she probably wants the instant variety served with a few Nilla Wafers. But the fancy-pants, original concoction is no slouch either. First off, the pudding should actually be sweet vanilla flavored custard, separating layers of lady fingers, or vanilla wafer cookies topped with fresh sliced bananas and whipped cream or meringue. It’s enough to make you go ape!

 

Sticky Toffee Pudding

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Photo: Recipes Hubs

Again, English people just have no freaking clue what pudding is. Or maybe we’re wrong. Like the Christmas pudding and figgy puddings before it, the sticky toffee pudding is usually steamed for maximum moisture. Instead of figs, however, very finely chopped dates are added to the cake, which is then covered in a toffee sauce. And, yes, toffee sauce is the warm, liquid, orgasm-in-your-mouth flavor of melted British toffee. Custard and ice cream are optional additions, but come highly recommended.

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Culture Hacks Health Hit-Or-Miss Tastemade/Snapchat

A Guide To The Shelf Life Of Your Thanksgiving Feast Leftovers

 

Thanksgiving is over, which means you have some leftovers to eat for a few days after the initial gourmet gauntlet. If you want to get the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers, then use this handy breakdown to figure out how long you can make your favorite foods last in the fridge and freezer— along with some additional storage tips for each foodstuff.

 

Turkey/ Meat

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Photo: The Broke College Kid

Fridge: 4 days

Frozen: 6 months

The bird is the word at Thanksgiving, but it’s important to know how long you can hold on to these leftovers without it getting funky. No matter how you choose to store it, be sure to remove any stuffing from the turkey and then carve away the remaining meat and put it in as many containers as you need. Avoid stacking containers since quicker cooling means fewer germs, and (along those same lines) use more shallow containers to allow the meat to cool fully.

 

Soups and Gravies

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Photo: Serious Eats

Fridge: 3-4 days

Freezer: 3 months

The best practice on your dinner table is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. It’s doubtful that you have buffet-style steam trays in your home, though, so let’s just say that two hours on the table and you need to start preparing your leftovers. Whether you’re storing in the fridge or the freezer, you’ll want to transfer liquid foodstuffs to a clean container to avoid contamination. You can extend the shelf life substantially by freezing, just make sure to leave a little bit of room since liquids tend to expand as they freeze.

 

Casseroles

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Photo: Taste of Home

Fridge: 3-4 days

Freezer: 3 months

Like the meat dishes mentioned above, the primary concern is bacteria forming as your casserole slowly reaches room temperature. The quicker you get it cold, the better. Procedures are much the same as soup, except that you don’t want to leave extra space in plastic bags/containers if you plan to freeze casserole. And, while it can seem simple to just slap some saran wrap over the top of a dish, it’s safer to transfer it into a clean container as well.

 

Desserts

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Photo: Jovina Cooks Italian

Fridge: 2-3 days

Freezer: 3 months (cake); up to 4 months (pie)

Now for the sweet stuff. Some pies are served cold, meaning you won’t really risk any germs by putting them back in the fridge. It’s actually leaving them out on the table that’s the real risk. Either way, you can refrigerate most desserts freely in their serving apparatus without too much concern — just be sure to eat them quickly. If freezing, seal them airtight to avoid forming water crystals.

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Cravings Hit-Or-Miss Tastemade/Snapchat

11 Already Great Foods That Get Infinitely Better With Bacon

Bacon is everywhere, and we couldn’t be happier. From donuts to mac and cheese, the best meat in the whole wide world has become a staple in certain recipes. But we’ve decided to switch our focus to the bizarre and unusual bacon combos that will have you scratching your head before you start licking your lips.

 

Bacon Cup Salads

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Photo: Taste of Home

I mean, if you’re going to punish your taste buds by eating something green, you’ll need to augment that flavor with bacon bits, anyway. Weaving bacon together to form handy cups, you can portion out miniature salads into handheld, half-healthy, half-delicious morsels.

 

Bacon Taco Shells

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Photo: Tasty Food Snacks

If there’s one major area of the hard taco that needed improvement, it was definitely the shell. Using the same weaving technique described above, you’ll essentially have a deconstructed bacon cheeseburger at the ready.

 

Bacon Brownies

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Photo: Recipes Hubs

Sweet and savory is a classic combo, and it works best if the savory component is bacon. With a caramel brownie center that’s also overflowing with bacon shards, you’ll have breakfast for dessert with this tasty tandem.

 

Chocolate Dipped Bacon

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Photo: Sweet Jumbles

What was I just saying about sweet and savory? This is the most elemental version of the equation, and works especially well with a dark chocolate. Bite into the bacon a little bit, let the chocolate melt in your mouth, and then cry because life is beautiful.

 

Bacon Mozzarella Sticks

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Photo: Huffington Post

We already love cheese sticks, but this goes the extra mile by encasing them in bacon instead of breadcrumbs. The end result is all of your ooey-gooey, crispy-crunchy dreams coming true. We just don’t know if you’re supposed to dip it in marinara, maple syrup or inhale them like fresh air after being underwater for too long.

 

Apple Pie w/ Bacon Lattice

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Photo: Loveless Cafe

Back to bacon weaving. Add a crunchy dynamic to your grandmother’s apple pie by putting a crispy bacon lattice on top of that bad boy. A healthy dose of brown sugar will candy the bacon and make for another dessert-breakfast mashup masterpiece.

 

Maple Bacon Kettle Corn

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Photo: That Winsome Girl

Popcorn is one of the few foods that remains relatively un-bacon-ified because, well, where do you put it? Thankfully, someone realized you could make kettle corn with maple instead of corn syrup and this bacon bits crossbreed followed shortly thereafter.

 

Bacon S’mores

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Photo: Farmland Bacon Club

If you really want to win over the campfire crowd, add a little pig to your pow-wow. Using a bacon-chocolate bar (or just a couple bacon slices if you’ve got them handy) and get ready for your new camping tradition.

 

Bacon and Granny Smith Apple Grilled Cheese

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Photo: What the Fork’s For Dinner?

This is really more about the realization that granny smith apples and cheddar cheese are a super classic combo, and it’s a shame that more people aren’t offering this grilled cheese variant. But, of course, bacon makes this tandem even better.

 

Bacon Wrapped Dates

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Photo: Diane A. Broad

No, we’re not talking about cannibalizing someone you’re going out with. Pit some dates (everyone’s favorite Mediterranean fruit), stuff it with a sweet goat cheese or an almond, wrap in a half a slice of bacon and bake. You’re welcome, you heartless monster.

 

Bacon-flavored Vodka

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Photo: Teh Siblog

If you’re looking for a saltier, smokier way to get your drink on, why not try bacon infused vodka? Try using this pork-flavored spirit to cut your maple syrup, which will help you suffer through your horrible family breakfast time. You’ll squeal like a pig as they drain your liver.

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Culture Hacks Hit-Or-Miss Tastemade/Snapchat

7 Foods and Drinks To Keep You Warm (And One That Won’t)

 

If you can manage to type with mittens on, you’ve probably tried to Google just about every thing in a feeble attempt to try and keep warm. Well, today’s your lucky day because this list of foods and beverages will actually raise your body temperature. Let it snow!

 

Ice Water

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Photo: How it Works

Seems counterintuitive, don’t it? Your whole life you’ve been raised to believe that warm drinks like hot chocolate are perfect winter beverages. But your base body temperature will actually fluctuate to try and counteract the effects of hot liquid, meaning your body temperature will drop from drinking even one cup of cocoa. Cold water has the opposite effect, raising your core temperature to counteract the chilly liquid.

 

Coffee

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Photo: Eater Chicago

As a subsection of the last paragraph, it’s important to note that coffee will actually help you heat up, but it has nothing to do with the warmth of the beverage. As a matter of fact, you’d actually be better drinking iced coffee. It’s the high amounts of caffeine in coffee which stimulate your metabolism, encouraging your body to burn fuel. I works best black, since cream and sugar will just break down instantly and produce a sugar crash.

 

Peanuts

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Photo: Flipboard

Good grief! Peanuts are high in vitamin B-3, which promotes blood flow and kick starts your metabolism — two key components in fending off the cold. With healthy fats and plenty of protein, they’re a smart snack any time of year, but will definitely help you combat dropping temperatures.

 

Brown Rice

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Photo: Livestrong

Refined rices and flours turn into simple carbs almost instantly, leading to sugar crashes like the ones mentioned above. Brown rice, on the other hand, is a complex carbohydrate that your body will breakdown slowly over time, resulting in prolonged release of energy and (you guessed it) heat.

 

Fresh Ginger

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Photo: Nature and Nutrition

Ginger is another way to get your blood flowing, which will help warm your extremities and keep away the chills. While you might be tempted to throw this spice into a dish or soup, you’ll maximize your benefits if you eat the root raw. You’ll also get similar (but less noticeable effects) from other roots like carrots and beets.

 

Cayenne Pepper

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Photo: Savory Spice Shop

Finally, a spicy food on this list. While any spicy pepper will help you break into a quick sweat, you’ll also notice the prolonged effect of digesting the fiery fruits. This is due to the chemical called capsaicin that is found in all peppers, meaning you’ll experience similar results with jalapenos and habaneros as well.

 

Coconut Oil

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Photo: Coconut Oil

Much like peanuts, coconut oil is full of healthy fats, which turn into fuel instead of spare tires. Again, essentially, you’re promoting your metabolism to do what it does: generate energy that makes you feel warm. Not to mention other benefits of coconut oil, like its antiviral and blood sugar-stabilizing properties.

 

NOT Alcohol

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Photo: Dennis Heppner

Despite rumors to the contrary, alcohol is actually a horrible way to stay warm. The rush of heat that drinkers feel is actually the warm, fresh blood leaving their core and heading to their extremities. Though you might feel warm in the short term, it will actually make it harder to stay warm over time and increase your risk of hypothermia.

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Health Hit-Or-Miss Tastemade/Snapchat

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Food Comas

 

Postprandial somnolence doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, which is probably why you know this phenomenon as the food coma or the itis. When people eat large meals, they often feel a nap coming on, and there’s no bigger meal than Thanksgiving. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the truths and misconceptions about this little-understood phenomenon that… causes… ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz…

 

You’re Experiencing The Opposite Of Fight-or-Flight

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Photo: Verbal Aikido

When you eat a lot of food, your brain switches focus from moving to resting, which is believed to cause the neurochemical switch towards restfulness. This is because your body’s priority has become digesting all that food and turning it into energy. You’re essentially feeling the opposite of the fight-or-flight survival response, where your mind releases energetic chemicals to protect you from gnarly predators.

 

High Glycemic Index = Low Activity

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Photo: Low Glycemic Foods

Hand in hand with the shift in neurochemistry, there are certain foods that release their sugars into your bloodstream more quickly than others. This means that your body has to work super hard and divert resources to soak up all this sugar in your bloodstream. This only serves to reinforce the not-fight-and-not-flight response. These high glycemic index foods include starches (potatoes, yams, and corn), fruits (cranberry sauce) and processed grains (dinner rolls). So basically everything at your table this Thanksgiving.

 

You’re Not Experiencing Loss Of Blood Flow To The Brain

Photo: Huffington Post

Though extra blood flows to your stomach to help in digestion, it’s not coming from your brain or respiratory system. The extra blood comes from your muscular system (which is the same reason that you’ll get a cramp if you run or swim after eating). So the myth that sleepiness is a result of decreased blood flow in your brain is completely ridiculous and, by the way, is also not one of the things that can cause an actual coma.

 

Fight It With Blue Light

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Photo: The Backstage Beat

While nothing can completely overcome a belly full of turkey, gravy, and pie, blue-enriched white light might give you a bit of a head start on fighting the dreaded food coma. In a 2015 study published in the journal Ergonomics, researchers found that the presence of blue lights during daylight hours actually improved alertness among workers following their meal breaks. In other words, plugging a cooler blue-white light over the Thanksgiving centerpiece might help you rally for a third round of pie.

 

Nap Attack

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Photo: Greatist

Though the need for sleep might be overwhelming, there are serious risks associated with sleeping immediately after eating, especially with a large meal. Your food is often not metabolised the same while you’re lying down, which can lead to anything from weight gain to heartburn to acid-reflux. The worst risk, however, might be increased incidents of strokes among people who fall asleep sooner after eating. A study from the University of Ioannina Medical School in Greece showed the correlation between sleeping after eating and increased risk of stroke, though the causes remain unclear.

 

Don’t Blame It on the Bird

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Photo: Medical Daily

The bird is the word when it comes to inducing sleepiness, according to the uninformed, because of high levels of the amino acid tryptophan. Turkey, however, contains levels of tryptophan roughly equivalent to beef or chicken. On the other hand, soybeans, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds are extremely high in the amino acid — meaning you’d be better off avoiding sushi on Thanksgiving. But the harsh truth is that the main culprit behind your sleepiness is stuffing your face like Jabba the Hut.

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Culture Feel Good Hit-Or-Miss Tastemade/Snapchat

How To Volunteer At A Food Kitchen Without Seeming Self-Righteous

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for everything that you’ve got — and to show how grateful you are by eating everything that you’ve got. But it’s also important to give back to the community, and the traditional classic is to feed the less fortunate at a soup kitchen. There’s a right way and wrong way to do it, though, so let’s take a closer look at how to be of service without acting all high and mighty.

 

Remember Why You’re There

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Photo: Thanksgiving

The number one thing is that you’re giving back, and these people could use your help. Try to have a good attitude and help them get a healthy meal. After all, it might not be everyday that they get to eat this well, so don’t take it personal if they seem a little cranky.

 

Listen To The People You’re Helping

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Photo: Salvation Army Alabama

When you see homeless people on the street, it can be easy to disregard them. But when you’re dealing with them one-on-one, you’ll come to see that they’re all people with hopes and aspirations, even if they are down on their luck. And, if you treat them with dignity, you’ll get a lot more out of the experience while bringing a little extra light to their day.

 

Put Your Phone Away

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Photo: Son of the South

Nothing seems less considerate of the people you’re trying to help than flaunting your own advantages in front of them. If you’re handling a personal/family emergency, that’s one thing, but Facebook will be waiting for you when you’re done pitching in and helping out.

Absolutely NO selfies

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Photo: Wikipedia

As a sub-section of both remembering why you’re there and putting your phone away, a huge part of not being self-righteous is not bragging about your efforts to help out. A selfie of you wearing a hairnet that’s tagged #humble is probably the most egregious misstep imaginable. Instead of posting on social, try reaching out to your friends personally to encourage them to pitch in as well.

 

The Giving Doesn’t Have To End On Thanksgiving

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Photo: The Fun Times Guide

While it’s important to give whatever you can, it’s also one of the most popular days of the year for people to donate their time. It can be even more meaningful and impactful to help out the less fortunate on other days of the year. After all, they’re not just hungry on the holidays (End of guilt trip).

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Hit-Or-Miss Tastemade/Snapchat

5 Kitchen Tools You Take For Granted

 

While no one’s going to cry if you lose your melon baller, there are some single-use tools that will actually make a difference in the kitchen. They’re easy to leave out, since they only do that one thing, but nothing comes close to that convenience when you need them. Take a look at these five utensils you take for granted before you find yourself up a creek without a can opener. Speaking of…

 

Can Opener

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Photo: WiseGEEK

What good is a can opener? Well, when you consider that the alternative is smashing it open with a rock, pretty darn good. Aside from opposable thumbs, can openers are the only thing that separates us from wild animals. Either use them both, or accept your feral life among the woodland creatures.

 

Pizza Cutter

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Photo: Pizzacraft

After a long day of moving with your friends, your only means of paying them back is your cheap and trusty friend pizza. But now you’re faced with the prospect of asking your friends to risk burning themselves by tearing apart a piping hot pizza. E tu, pizza?

 

Lemon/Lime Juicer

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Photo: AliExpress

Yeah, you can squeeze a lime or lemon with your bare hands, but you risk making a mess or shooting citric acid straight into your eye. Either pack goggles or bring along this handy squeezer, which will give you more control as you add flavor to everything you cook.

 

Colander

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Photo: Joseph Joseph

Pasta is another cheap and easy dish, and you can probably make enough to feed all your buddies for under 10 bucks. But without a colander, you’re simply tempting fate, my friend. If you leave this handy strainer behind, you’ll either be scalding yourself for forgetting it, or just plain scalding yourself.

 

Wine Bottle Opener

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Photo: Wine Folly

This is the first level of hell. You’re already out of meal ideas, and now you can’t even open a bottle of wine to help melt that stress away. You try that trick with your shoes, but it just won’t work. Too bad Domino’s doesn’t deliver pinot grigio.

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Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss Tastemade/Snapchat

9 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About White Castle

Do you have the Crave… for trivia? We can relate.That’s why we’re handing out these juicy and delicious White Castle facts by the sack. So slide-r on over and learn these 9 bite-sized facts that might change the way you think about one of America’s most-beloved burger joints.

 

Original Owner Invented Flat Shaped Patties

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Photo: Little Things

One day, frustrated by his inability to handle meatballs on his griddle, Walt Anderson smashed one flat with his spatula. The pancake-like shape was infinitely easier to handle, and Anderson adopted the method moving forward. Maybe that’s why Time named the White Castle Slider the most Influential Burger of All Time in 2014.

 

White Castle Was the First Fast Food Chain in America

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Photo: White Castle

When Anderson started flipping burgers in Wichita, KS in 1921, he created the industry standard low-cost, fast prep burgers’ on-demand business model. The end result was a ringing success, leading them to start opening shops outside of Wichita as early as 1922. Even though fish and chip stands had existed in England since the 1860s, White Castle was the first American establishment to catch on.

 

The Name Was Chosen to Combat the “Unhealthy” Image of Hamburgers

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Photo: Cargo Collective

Upton Sinclair’s 1906 muckraking novel, The Jungle, exposed the harsh working conditions and unsanitary standards in meat-packing facilities, leaving a sour taste in America’s mouth. The book had impacted the name of ground beef so much, that Anderson and business partner Billy A. Ingram choose the name “White Castle” to convey a sense of purity and strength.

 

White Castle Building No. 8 Is a Historic Landmark

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Photo: Wikiwand

One of the earliest franchises (the 8th, to be exact), White Castle Building No. 8 features the architecture that the chain was known for early on: white exterior bulwarks designed after the Chicago Water Tower. Measuring only 28 x 28 feet, the building is completely moveable and functions today as a souvenir stand.

 

The Most Sliders Eaten in One Sitting is 103

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Photo: Empire News

This gargantuan feet of miniature beef was completed by Joey Chestnut in only 8 minutes. The current no. 2 ranked eater in Major League Eating (MLE) also holds records for eating hotdogs, pork ribs, and steak. Guess he’s earned the nickname “Jaws.”

 

White Castle Used to Deliver Burgers

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Photo: Pinterest

Because the Crave is so damned powerful, White Castle created a hugely successful “Burgers to Fly” program in the mid-’80s. No matter where you were in the US, they would deliver frozen sliders to your door within 24 hours. While it sucks that they don’t deliver anymore, the service paved the way for the freezer-aisle sliders that can help satisfy cravings.

 

Crave Mobiles Also Deliver Sliders to Castle-less Areas

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Photo: Bloomberg

If you don’t live in one of 13 states with a White Castle, then you’d better pray that the Crave Mobile is headed to a town near you. While the frozen sliders will do in a pinch, we know you’ve been looking for fresh steamed Sliders to come your way—which is exactly what this food truck offers.

 

They’re a Hot Spot on Valentine’s Day

Photo: Pioneer Press

You’ve decided to share your lives together, but will you share that last slider? White Castle is currently accepting reservations for Valentine’s Day dinner, so if your love is strong enough, hurry up and call. They’ll decorate the store and maybe even light a Slider Scented Candle to set the mood.

 

Kumar Was Vegetarian

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Photo: The Wallpapers

What the…? Huh? Kal Penn was faking the Crave the whole time? Give that man an Oscar.