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White Castle Wisdom

Updated on July 20, 2009
What We Crave
What We Crave

The Basic Ingredients

White Castle is proof positive that the simplest solutions are usually the best. White Castle was founded in Wichita, KS almost 90 years ago. A simple idea based on inexpensive food, made from simple ingredients; hamburger, onions, and buns. Though the methods may have changed slightly, the recipe still remains the same. Why fix that which is unbroken?

By comparison, take a look at our constitution. An uncomplicated document void of legalese,and written in simple, elegant text. A document drafted for the people, by the people. A people of simple means, simple eduation and an uncommon sense of common sense. Our constitution, much like White Castle, found a formula that resonated with its consumers. A combination that, no matter how people try, cannot be made better than its humble beginnings. 

What Makes us Crave Them?

What makes us crave a White Castle? Is it nothing more than an appeal to our senses? Is it strictly the combination of smell, taste, and texture? Maybe cost is the key. Saving money is a powerful motivator. There are only so many places you can go to get three burgers for the cost of one at some other places. I think it may go a little deeper. White Castle's success may be the that the food is uncomplicated and unpretentious. I hear people slander the Slyders all the time, but I think there are more closet Castle Cravers than we know. After all, when the party is over, would you rather have a Slyder or a Chateaubriand?

So why did early Americans crave this country? The logical answer might be the abundant natural resources, or the sense of adventure. I think it was something else. When the party was over in England, our forefathers desired something a little less complicated; a place to call their own. A place where freedoms and liberties were a way of life, not dictated by those with supreme power. Our constitution addressed the needs of the very people who forged a way of life here. It was not an easy life. Our ancestors worked hard, fought harder, and payed the ultimate price to create a country of prosperity and limitless possibilities. Do you still crave the American spirit?

The Best Advertising

Today, White Castle slams us with periodic media blitzes. But does advertisement alone keep them going? I think it's more the just a commercial or radio ad. I think word of mouth probably sells more White Castles than anything else. How many times have you been at work, hanging out after school, or just been driving around when someone makes the suggestion? More often than not, where do you end up? The best advertising of all comes from a product that people crave. The hard sell might sustain a business for a while, but in the end its the product that sells itself. White Castle sold over 500,000,000 burgers last year alone.

What makes America so attractive to so many people? There has to be a reason so many people want to be here, and so many that profess to hate it still remain. The reason is simple. We have a superior product. From our people to our way of life. Anybody, with any kind of desire, can achieve whatever they wish in this country. Something rarely found, to the extents we are privileged to enjoy, anywhere else on this blue marble. Our advertisement is word of mouth, and our competitors are making it easier to succeed every day. I just hope we have the common sense of our forefathers to realize just how great we have it, before we lower our standards to make our competitors feel better about themselves.

The Morning After

I think you know where I'm going with this; the dry mouth, the after taste, the other "side affects." The price we pay for those few moments of glorious indulgence the night before. The guilt of knowing we didn't necessarily count our calories from fat judiciously. But isn't it worth it? What's the harm in having a White Castle once in awhile? We need to feed our cravings periodically and, let's face it, nothing satisfies a craving like a White Castle.There is no harm, once in awhile; just do it responsibly. "Too much of a good thing..." as they say.

I believe this country is experiencing a morning after; the dry mouth, the after taste, the other "side affects." We have had our White Castle equivalent, and now we have to manage our guilt. So we, as idividuals, may have made some bad economic decisions, political choices, and moral decisions. That is no reason to self-destruct. We simply take responsibility for our own actions, and embrace the future. Now, more than ever, we need to stand for what is right and what our forefathers and fathers have fought and died for. Giving up our freedoms and liberties to make us feel better about our White Castle night is not the way. If we do that, our indulgence may be the death of a brilliantly simple idea.


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    • Katharella profile image

      Katharella 8 years ago from Lost in America

      Hi Puppascott! I too would never have thought the concept of comparing White Castle to The Constitution! Great!!!

      I would like to share with the people who commented that NOPE, there's NO REAL DEAL until you've actually had the ones right from White Castle. Frozen, is mearly second best when real isn't obtainable! lol! (Yes I get frozen because we don't have one here!) haa.

      Anyway, I really wasn't into Harold & Kumar's movie much, I did get the "WE HAVE TO GO TO WHITE CASTLE OR WE MIGHT DIE" or something LOL part.

      I've been there and lived it. I did however see one flaw in the movie that a lot of others just might not have understood about the... dundadundun...REAL CRAVING OF A WHITE CASTLE at 3am. Around that time is bar traffic. But oh my, we're home people and just up late. So, we have to either hurry up and get there to quinch our crave or argue it out in line of drunk bar goers! We used to joke (ah, the good old days) that you've never had a REAL White Castle unless you've gotten into an argument with someone in another car, while you're in a drive through, that HAS CURBS all the way through it so you can't just drive away! Well, story is too long for here, but I bet you and your fans can guess. It's not a pretty sight when you're SOBER and hanging out your window to argue what's taking so long to a drunk person in another car. I NEVER understood WHY do the police think they're going to get drunk drivers leaving the bar when all they'd have to do is just sit at the local White Castle and bring them in while they're munching down their yummy WC awaiting a very long time to get to do it again! lol! Great Hub... too bad our founding fathers didn't have WC! lol! -Kat

    • puppascott profile image

      puppascott 8 years ago from Michigan (As far as you know...)

      I'd be happier if a few more of our current fathers would have some. They could use a bit of wisdom.

    • judydianne profile image

      judydianne 8 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      Great metaphor. Maybe our founding fathers should have had a few WCs. Back in the day, White Castles only cost a nickel.

      Looking forward to more hubs from you....

    • puppascott profile image

      puppascott 8 years ago from Michigan (As far as you know...)

      Well thank you Ms. I was hoping it wouldn't be a 'crave' disaster.

    • Ms Chievous profile image

      Tina 8 years ago from Wv

      Interesting concept here.. I never would have thought to put those tow together. Look forward to reading more of your stuff

    • puppascott profile image

      puppascott 9 years ago from Michigan (As far as you know...)

      Thanks Lady (or do you prefer Rogue?)

    • Lady Rogue profile image

      Lady Rogue 9 years ago from Cleveland Heights, Ohio

      Great metaphor, Puppa! I appreciate your point and that you didn't have to slam anyone to make it. Thanks, again!

    • puppascott profile image

      puppascott 9 years ago from Michigan (As far as you know...)

      Thanks Capt.,

      I've only been to one castle, and that started my addiction.

      A foul wind is blowin', otherwise I might be settin' an Eastern course for one right now.

    • Capt and The Kid profile image

      Capt and The Kid 9 years ago

      There are Castles and there are Castle's.  We have visited castles in Belcourt in R.I. , Lyndhurst in N.Y. , Zorayda in FL, and a few more.  None were white.  In Ohio and NJ we visited Castle's that were White.  No comparison.  History can leave an odd after-taste, but the burger?  No way!  Store bought frozen are not the true experience...gotta go inside to explore the real American Castle ('s).    Nice article.       

    • puppascott profile image

      puppascott 9 years ago from Michigan (As far as you know...)

      TM, I see you reside on the other side of the pond. If it helps, close your eyes and imagine the smell of the food you would crave the most after a night out. Now ad the smell of onions and a steamed hamburger bun. That's the best I can do.

      MM, I feel your pain brother. That's all I'll say.

      LM, the frozen ones are close, but you must experience the whole atmosphere at one of those little white buildings.

      Thanks for the comments

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 9 years ago

      I've never actually eaten at a White Castle, but I have had the frozen variety. I hope the real things are a little better. But Wichita, KS? I had no idea!!

      MM-that sounds like a movie I should see. Maybe I'll change the selection for tomorrow evening. ;-)

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Another one of those "Who would ever think to put these two concepts together in one hub -- but it works!" successes. Well done, Puppascott.

      I have memories -- fond and not so fond (e.g., the night I got sick in the driveway) of White Castle. My dad, who grew up in The Bronx, turned us onto them, and it was his ritual to stop there when visiting his parents.

      If you have not seen "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" you are missing a treat. You don't even have to be a stoner to enjoy it. I like to think that H&K gave White Castle a bump in popularity. Plus, you can get WC sliders in the freezer aisle of the grocery store.

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      I've never seen a White Castle, or a commercial for one, either. I guess it's a Kansas chain?

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 9 years ago from Chicago

      We have a superior product.  Now there's a slogan for you! 

      I like the White Castle burgers because they taste good to me.  Simple but good.  The Constitution is simple, too, as you say, until you start noticing those emanations of penumbras in there.  :D

      Thanks for a thought provoking journey featuring such an unusual juxtaposition.  White Castle and The Constitution?  Who knew?


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