MARCH 13, 2022
Slugburgers – are they really that good? or do they just invoke thoughts of yesteryear, when that unique combination of flavors landed upon your tastebuds, creating a sensory reaction to which you either like this taste… or leave it in the trash.
It’s kinda like when that restaurant critic in the movie Ratatouille took a bite of his favorite dish and the taste immediately took him back to memories of his childhood.
I am of course describing a Slugburger, a “burger” that was sold during the depression for a nickel – a “Slug Nickel.”
Know one knows exactly when it was created, only that it was created out of necessity, to make rationed food go a little farther. in hard times.
So, let’s start with the name, “Slug.”
The burgers were sold for a nickel back then, and the slang word for a nickel back in the day was “Slug,” which naturally led to the name “Slugburger.”
But, where did the term “Slug Nickel” originate?
What is a “Slug Nickel?”
Metal slugs or knockouts are leftover plugs from electrical junction boxes… let me explain, electricians use what are called “junction” boxes, for wiring light switches, receptacles, etc., these junction boxes are made out of stamped metal. To make a hole in a junction box to insert the electrical wire, there are pre-punched holes, they’re hanging on by thin pieces of metal, you next take a hammer or the end of a screwdriver and knock a hole out, the leftover piece of coin-shaped metal that is knocked out of the box is referred to a slug.
Years ago the metal for the junction boxes was thicker, and very close to the size of a U.S. Nickel, to get a soda, they were 15¢ back then, you could slip that slug in just right and maybe put a little spin on it, and fool that machine into taking that slug… for a nickel. Yes, eventually the vendors caught on and the machines haven’t been able to take slugs for years, but it was a thing.
So, now you know what a Slug Nickel is, and where the name Slugburger came from, and if you’re from Corinth, Mississippi, well, you’ve probably heard the rest of the story, but here’s the condensed version – back in the early 1900’s when we rationed food, a filler was added to make hamburgers go a little farther, hand-patted patties were fried up in a pan of hot lard, (no Crisco, tastes better too) slap it on a bun with mustard pickle and onion and eat warm, I always squirt a little extra mustard on mine.
I prefer my Slugburgers from Bourrum’s Drug Store on the Square in Historic Downtown Corinth, (Mississippi’s oldest operating soda fountain) I like that they toast the bun on the griddle, but I like ’em all, The White Trolley, The Slug Burger Cafe, The Pitstop has a good one, it’s a processed patty, it looks like an extra thick slice of bologna, but it is a slugburger.
Click HERE for an interview with Camille Borroum Mitchell back in 2014 chatting about the origins of the slugburger. She just celebrated her 96th birthday! April 17th, 2022.
* For a more extensive story on the history of the Slugburger, there’s a very well written article by Anna McCollum at “the Sip” magazine, link HERE.
Experience a “Sip of the South”
* What’s Cooking America – Slugburger History, link HERE – Is the “Weeksburger” the original Slugburger?
America’s most trusted culinary resource since 1997
* Slugburger Festival
For more info see Corinth, MS Tourism Website HERE.
This condensed version of the history of the world famous Slugburger has been provided compliments of Mississippi Proud Apparel Company.
“Slugburger Capital of the World”
& “Home of the Slugburger” t-shirt designs
available at: www.MississippiProud.us
T-shirts are also available at the Green Market in Downtown Corinth.
See the Corinth Museum website for dates and times.
The Slugburger, an enduring part of Corinth, Mississippi’s history.