OPINION: Completing the Chilton County culinary trifecta

Published 3:11 pm Friday, April 1, 2022

By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

Several places have activities that they are known for. That one thing that one will try at least once just because it is iconic.

When I was a teenager growing up in Maryland, it was deshelling a crab. It was like checking off my Maryland card so to speak.

When I was living in Tennessee, I tried coleslaw on a hot dog because some friends in the town I was in like them that way. I also tried mayonnaise on one because that was how they were eaten when I was in Chile.

Chilton County has a few food-related icons. Once one has tasted their first Chilton County peach and strawberry, a hot hamburger is next to complete the local food trifecta.

Not being from here, I had to have “hot hamburger” explained to me.

My initial thought was “All hamburgers are hot.”

I came to understand it as essentially two open face burgers (meaning no top bun), covered in gravy, onions and sometimes other toppings like mushrooms and cheese.

The concept reminded me of Salisbury steak.

I recently tried my first one, and I did enjoy it. I do not really like mushrooms, so I left those off. I understand that several places have put their own spin on this classic, so I anticipate it might be something I order at other local eateries in the future.

I have heard different stories about this dish. Someone said it originates in New Orleans. Others see it as strictly a Chilton County thing. At this point, I am not sure how it became a part of Chilton County culture, but one thing is for sure is that it is now a local staple.