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Jason Perlow

Slug Burgers?

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Brooks mentioned these in one of his other posts here in the SFC forum -- I didn't know what they were, so I did a google search -- it sounds like a small meatloaf patty that is deep fried and served on a small bun with hamburger accoutriments?

Whereabouts did the Slug Burger originate? What are the essential components to a Slug Burger?

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Brooks mentioned these in one of his other posts here in the SFC forum -- I didn't  know what they were, so I did a google search -- it sounds like a small meatloaf patty that is deep fried and served on a small bun with hamburger accoutriments?

Whereabouts did the Slug Burger originate? What are the essential components to a Slug Burger?

Lest you become queasy and anxious, this has nothing to do with a mollusc ... :shock: nor should you break out the garlic butter and tongs expecting the hallowed escargot ...

A slugburger is a burger made of a mixture of beef and some form of cheaper breading extender which is then deep-fat fried to a golden brown instead of grilled as a common hamburger. In earlier days, cornmeal was commonly used as an extender in slugburgers and animal fat was used in the frying.
says a website from Corinth, Mississippi ... and highly unlikely to replace your much adored White Castle, Jason! :wink:

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Thwy may not be made out of slugs, (apparently the name comes from the old Southern term for a solid nickel), but they do have a festival, and one of the highlights is the election of the "Slug Queen"

Actually, a listing of various queens would be kind of fun. There is the "Shrimp and Petroleum Queen" (a title once held by New Orleans b-list celeb Rhonda Shear, of Up All Night! Fame), the "Frog Queen", The Crawfish Queen", The "Blackeyed Pea and Lawn Mower Racing Queen", and who knows what all. I bet this stuff looks great on your resume later in life-"I'm Tammy, and I'm a people person. Look at this! I was the Frog Queen!"

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Snappy Lunch in Mount Airy NC has them on the menu as "breaded burgers."

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John T Edge wrote a great piece on slug burgers in an Oxford American issue perhaps last year or the year before. I believe there is a place in Mississippi (and perhaps it was Corinth) where Slug Burgers were still king. John T's conclusion, if I may paraphrase, was that they tasted like dirt. I'll probably take his word on this subject!

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John T Edge wrote a great piece on slug burgers in an Oxford American issue perhaps last year or the year before.  I believe there is a place in Mississippi (and perhaps it was Corinth) where Slug Burgers were still king.  John T's conclusion, if I may paraphrase, was that they tasted like dirt.  I'll probably take his word on this subject!

Why do you think he said this? Possibly because the grade of the meat was so inferior?

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Thwy may not be made out of slugs, (apparently the name comes from the old Southern term for a solid nickel)
I think the nickel thing is interesting. I have a vague memory from childhood that we used to somehow come across these little disks of metal that were close enough in size to a nickel or quarter to fool a vending machine. We called them "slugs". I wonder if slug : nickel :: slug burger : 'real' hamburger?

(I can't for the life of me remember how we came into possession of these things. Did we just find them lying around on the ground? Anybody else have any idea what I'm talking about?)

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(I can't for the life of me remember how we came into possession of these things. Did we just find them lying around on the ground? Anybody else have any idea what I'm talking about?)

Knockouts from electrical boxes when they were still made of reasonably heavy gauge steel was a pretty common source for them, I believe.

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Knockouts from electrical boxes when they were still made of reasonably heavy gauge steel was a pretty common source for them, I believe.

Aha! Of course, that's it. Thanks, Brooks.

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Yes, I read the same article.

My recollection is that "Slug Burgers" were not actually beef, but some sort of soybean product mixed with breading and spices, then griddle fried. They were small, cheap and distinctive.

Best,

Ross

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When I was living up around Chicago (mumbly mumbly) years ago a similar thing was called loaf burgers. Which was an association with meatlof because the extender (usually bread crumbs or cracker crumbs for these) was added to the ground beef in much the same way. Also in the mix was chopped onions, Worcestershire sauce, s&p, then they were deep pan fried in bacon grease. I never saw these on any menu anywhere but they were a home burger item on lots of families' dinner tables on a regular basis.

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For those in the Tupelo, Mississippi, area -- you might enjoy attending a brown bag lunch lecture this spring (March 1) to hear about the history of the Slug Burger and the annual Slug Burger Festival hosted by the city of Corinth. The Office of Outreach at the University of Mississippi is now sponsoring a southern food lunch lecture series on its satellite campuses in Tupelo and Desoto. More info at http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/

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I must have one....but I am sure that in healthy happy southern california there is no place I can get one...dammit!

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the name entymology is really pretty simple: a "slug" is slang for a fake coin hence a "slug" burger is slang for a fake burger. There is also the theory that "slug" was slang for a nickel which is what the burgers cost but I find that a stretch since regular burgers went for a nickel. If memory serves there is an explanation of "slug burgers" on the Corinth, Mississippi city web site but I can not find the link. They are essentially a little ground beef w/ a lot of extender and that addition can be any thing fr/ oats, ground corn, soy, or any thing else. Folks would add condiments to make them palatable. We had them a few years back on a visit to Corinth and John Edge was correct; they really did not taste like much except for the grease in which they were cooked and the condiments.

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--the best cat ever.

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The slugburger capital of the world is corinth, misssissippi. they are very, very good if prepared and cooked right. there are places though that really do the slugburger an injustice and for this should be shut down. the base ingredient is soybean meal but there is also ground chuck and other ingredients. there are several joints that serve these but the absolute best and current original is the white trolly cafe on highway 72 east in corinth. they have been serving these things 60-70 years give or take, maybe longer than that. eat one there and you'll see how dang good they are. there is a place in corinth called the slugburger cafe. its places like this that have done the ol' slugburger such an injustice. so if you are in corinth, eat at the white trolly!!! they are to be eaten with yellow mustard, chopped white onions and pickles. any other way would not be considered "pra-pa" (proper). they got the name because they used to cost a nickel a piece. a nickel was often referred to as a slug. the slugburger festival is in july every year in corinth and yes there is a slugburger queen. hope this helps

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Welcome to the site, BigHoss!

Thanks for the welcome, i really appreciate it!!

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Thwy may not be made out of slugs, (apparently the name comes from the old Southern term for a solid nickel)
I think the nickel thing is interesting. I have a vague memory from childhood that we used to somehow come across these little disks of metal that were close enough in size to a nickel or quarter to fool a vending machine. We called them "slugs". I wonder if slug : nickel :: slug burger : 'real' hamburger?

(I can't for the life of me remember how we came into possession of these things. Did we just find them lying around on the ground? Anybody else have any idea what I'm talking about?)

I remember those growing up in Chicago. They were little metal disks that looked like coins that never were stamped in the dies.

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There's a wonderful article on Slugburgers by Rheta Grimsley Johnson, Mississippi's BEST writer of articles-on-all-things-both-arcane-and-interesting.

I read it several years ago, and it featured sounds, sights, smells, tastes, reactions and aftereffects of her first and only exposure to Corinth's most famous culinary creation. I had hoped to find her archives somewhere online, but the only site wants to sell me a book from e-Bay. Oh, well, trust me, it was a lovely bit of writing, bringing to life every greasy, salty, mustard-clad bite. You could almost hear her arteries begin to harden.

My raisin' was in the Delta, and we had never heard of the "hill" folks' delicacy, though our local Milk Bar---guess we were too rural for a complete "Dairy" title--sold something similar. The little one-room building, whitewashed all around, had so many items and prices printed in white shoe polish on the INSIDE of the windows that you could barely see the workers within. You walked up to the little screen-flap window, picked your poison from a long list of cholesterol, paid your money, and promptly had the screen slammed down as the cashier turned to yell your order at the frycook standing two feet away.

The refrigerator door was opened to reveal several tall stacks of half-inch pink checkers, each separated by a small square of tornoff waxed paper. One of these was grabbed by the paper and slapped upside down on the grill. The hot, dusty parkinglot air began to fill with the tongue-aching scent of sizzling meat as the cook threw two bun halves into the grease deposited on the grill by decades of burgers.

It never mattered to the cook if you got two tops or two bottoms, bun was bun; you didn't care either---you just wanted that sizzling and frying and mustard-smearing to be done, with a nice slice of onion and a coupla rings of salty dills slapped on. The meat, by this time, had been spatula-smashed with all the weight of Miss Evvie's muscular right arm, flowering into a bun-sized, thin circle with crisp, lacy edges. Greasy spatula saluted top of bun, the lot went into a crisp crackle of waxy paper with the fancy pinked edges, and you received your prize, seizing it to your bosom like a holy relic.

You backed away, averting your eyes from the waiting hordes, lest they lose control and wrest your long-awaited treasure from you. A dime into the machine around the corner, the sissssssss of an ice-filled Pepsi bottle, and you retreated to the grimy picnic tables in the shade of the back lot, sinking onto that splintery bench like returning from battle. Rustle of paper, scent of onion-mustard-meat approaching your lips, then Heaven.

As I said, I've never tasted anything called a Slugburger, but I remember those filler-filled burgers of my youth with great pleasure, and with regret for the youngness of it, the bright-eyed lusty joy with which we wolfed down whatever was put in front of us, the uncaringness of the days before cholesterol and triglycerides were invented.

That Milk Bar owner built house after house, renting them to many families, and she built them one 25c hamburger at a time.

Slugburgers: no. The most memorable sandwiches of our lives: oh, yes. :wub:

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For those who were interested in slug burgers, you might be interested in Corinth, Mississippi's annual Slugburger Festival. It's held each July, so plan your vacation accordingly. You can find more info from the Corinth Visitors Bureau, 800-748-9048. Their website was down at last check, but the phones are working!

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Actually, a listing of various queens would be kind of fun.

The Sweet Potato Queens

Kevin

No, no, no. We're talking about REAL queens here- not the self appointed kind (apologies to Jill, her pals, and all the Wanna-Bees- you are all lovely women and I bow before you and just because you had to buy your own crowns makes you no less of a Queen than the royalty listed below)

I mean like the:

Shrimp and Petroleum Queen

The Frog Queen

The Peach Queen

The Okra Queen

The Blackeyed Pea and Lawnmower Racing Queen

The Crawfish Queen

See what I mean? Queens!

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Warren Keller (may he rest in peace), made a great slug burger in Spindale NC. He mixed his hamburger with crushed soda crackers and instant mashed potatoes. He dropped the little balls into the hot grease from previous cooked slugs, in frying pans on the stove. When they floated to the top, they were done. Add mustard, chili, and onions to a steamed bun, and you were in heaven. Warren's chili was the best. He said it took two pounds of hamburger to make one pound of chili. I'd love to have that recipe.

He also made a "beef dog". Pressure cooked stewed beef, forked into a hotdog bun, with the same mustard, chili, and onions. Now that was something special.

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There's a wonderful article on Slugburgers by Rheta Grimsley Johnson, Mississippi's BEST writer of articles-on-all-things-both-arcane-and-interesting.

  I read it several years ago, and it featured sounds, sights, smells, tastes, reactions and aftereffects of her first and only exposure to Corinth's most famous culinary creation.  I had hoped to find her archives somewhere online, but the only site wants to sell me a book from e-Bay.  Oh, well, trust me, it was a lovely bit of writing, bringing to life every greasy, salty, mustard-clad bite.    You could almost hear her arteries begin to harden.

Believe this is the article you are referring to:

http://home.tsixroads.com/~mlsandy/Corinth...ANDY/lh010.html

Milton Sandy, Jr.

Corinth, Mississippi

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the name entymology is really pretty simple:  a "slug" is slang for a fake coin hence a "slug" burger is slang for a fake burger.  There is also the theory that "slug" was slang for a nickel which is what the burgers cost but I find that a stretch since regular burgers went for a nickel.  If memory serves there is an explanation of "slug burgers" on the Corinth, Mississippi city web site but I can not find the link.  They are essentially a little ground beef w/ a lot of extender and that addition can be any thing fr/ oats, ground corn, soy, or any thing else.  Folks would add condiments to make them palatable.  We had them a few years back on a visit to Corinth and John Edge was correct; they really did not taste like much except for the grease in which they were cooked and the condiments.

I believe the explanation you reference was mine which has been lost to most search engines when Earthlink bought our local ISP and moved my local pages:

http://home.tsixroads.com/~mlsandy/Corinth_MLSANDY/slug.html

Most local people would take great exception to any references to lack of taste- it's all in the preparation. Most good local slugburger restaurants are very, very busy so somebody has to like them. Most displaced Corinthians seek them out first thing when they return home. It is likely an acquired taste and a one time taste may not be enough for an addiction.

Milton Sandy, Jr.

Corinth, Mississippi


Edited by mlsandy (log)

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