Has the definition of "sliders" been stretched beyond all recognition?
Originally, a slider was a one-ounce hamburger cooked with diced onions on top, then flipped to cook the onions into the meat, the whole of it encased in a small steamed bun. The inherent greasiness of the munchie was said to help it slide down the gullet, thus the name.
Somehow, in the past five or so years every sort of combination of small sandwiches has come to be called a slider, whether by mass-market chains or neighborhood grills looking to get in on the fad.
This week, Pizza Hut introduced something called "Big Pizza Sliders," 3½-inch pies with assorted toppings -- retailing nine to a box for $10, or three for $5 with up to three "recipe combos," according to a press release from Pizza Hut. Freebies are being handed out until 7 p.m. this evening.
No way are they "sliders." In my view, simply making something smaller than the norm doesn't move it into a specific category. What the new offering reminds me of are my late mom's "Fake Pizza Muffins" dished out in my long-ago childhood when frozen fast-foods were not as unbiquitous.
Mom, a wonderful woman but not much interested in the culinary arts except when she was working as a waitress at a small local restaurant, was always looking for something different and easy to feed a voracious husband and two equally voracious sons. She simply split an English muffin, put a few drops of oil on the halves, topped them with a jarred tomato sauce and a slice of mozzarella, and ran them under the broiler until they were toasty and oozing melty goodness.
Except for the availability of more topping choices, I don't see much difference between Pizza Hut's "Big Pizza Sliders" and Mom's "Fake Pizza Muffins," except that neither should qualify as a slider.