While the slinger as we know it today is undeniably a St. Louis original, its provenance can be traced back to the same gene pool that gave western New York the Garbage Plate, gave heaping mounds of Five-way Cincinnati Chili to the Buckeye State, gave spicy chilaquiles topped with cheese and shredded meat to Mexico, and to Canada, a mass of gravy-soaked potatoes and cheese curds affectionately known as poutine. Each is a member of the same family tree, and each highlights the inherent genius of a simple concept; namely, that the development of delicious delivery systems for copious quantities of filling carbohydrates is a most excellent thing.
With an appreciative nod to its pedigree, we also note with pride that the slinger is inextricably linked to The Gateway City. Much like St. Louis’ relationship with Provel – the cheese that tops our namesake style of pizza – the slinger requires an immersion in our fair city to truly and honestly “get it.” For some, acceptance takes the larger part of a lifetime; for others, it is seemingly instantaneous. For anyone who has called St. Louis home, the slinger is a rite of passage, a badge of honor customized a hundred different ways, each version as soul-satisfyingly tasty as the next.