Amid this fun, the term “slider” justly is expanding to mean any miniature sandwich in a dinner roll. There are fish ones, club ones, reuben ones, chicken salad ones...

Cook Walter Anderson and insurance-man Edgar Waldo “Billy” Ingram had no idea they were sitting on a food revolution. It only took 80 years to take hold.

Pals Wally and Billy in 1921 invented White Castle Hamburgers in Wichita, Kan. To get the price low enough for the times (10 for 5 cents with coupon), they crafted what we call today a mini burger. This is the 3-by-3-inch burger that became a monster and still is the staple at modern White Castles.

They’re called “sliders,” as they slide right down the throat… well, almost. Amazingly, in the modern era of supersized everything in fast food, little sliders thrive. They’ve recently crossed over to formal restaurants and our own kitchens, becoming a promising, even mandatory, addition to party buffets.

Amid this fun, the term “slider” justly is expanding to mean any miniature sandwich in a dinner roll. There are fish ones, club ones, reuben ones, chicken salad ones...

Which is the point of this story: What are you eatin’ for Super Bowl Sunday? I know, everybody plays off the “bowl” thing, and that propels chili bowls to the front of the table. Make a welcome change to sliders and forget the six-layer taco salad and bread bowl spinach dip. You’ll have a memorable tailgate repast.

Beyond raves of your fan friends, sliders attract us with their ease of manufacture. You can make them days ahead and chill or freeze them (before frying). They’re cheap. Imagine 24 burgers from 24 ounces of ground beef. Just make a lot, as average friendlies will eat at least three.

Sliders do fit the rigors of a football-night dinner. They cook fast, taste great and tend to stay on the paper plate in your lap instead of the floor. They also throw easily at the TV. The downside is everybody smells of onions. Small price.

Creative chefs are pushing the slider phenomenon into new flavors. We now have slider chicken breasts, tuna steaks, pulled pork barbecue and whatever else you can fit on the little roll.

The only rule is the mini-size, or slider, bun. Pepperidge farm dinner rolls fit perfectly, although some competitors now are turning out buns specifically for sliders. Flavors are expanding into whole wheat, rye and seed toppings. Hot-dog buns sliced into squares will work.

Don’t forget the “special sauces.” Chipotle mayonnaise is fine on all, and horsey cocktail and lemon tartar are best on seafood. Go wild on the condiment table, including bacon strips, pepperoni, coleslaw and roasted peppers.

Sliders on their own cut calories, and this pleases the diet police — the burgers are way less than half the fat of full size. Still, I’ve seen large carnivores wolf entire platters and scavenge the kitchen searching for more. Make a lot.

White Castle Style Sliders

1 1/2 pounds 80 percent ground beef
1 1/4 ounces onion soup mix
1 egg
1 medium onion, diced
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
24 slider or dinner rolls

Mix onion soup mix, ground beef and pepper. Press into a lightly oiled cookie sheet to the raised edges. Poke holes in the meat with a fork and press diced onion into the meat. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 400. Off heat and add American cheese slices to melt. Warm dinner rolls at the same time.Cut meat into 24 squares. Serve on rolls. Top with dill pickle slices. Serve with mustard and ketchup. Makes 24.

Chickie Sliders

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon brown mustard or Dijon
1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

Place all ingredients into a food-safe plastic bag and refrigerate for three hours. Remove, drain and bake in a 375-degree oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through. On a grill or skillet, it’s 4 minutes per side. At end, add to melt Monterey Jack cheese.Slice into pieces to fit warmed mini buns. Serve with mayonnaise, mustard and relish condiments on the side.

Note: The same recipe may be used for swordfish, fresh tuna or salmon. Adjust baking times. Fish is done when it flakes. Serve with chipotle mayonnaise:

Chipotle Mayo

1 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, canned
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Mix ingredients and add chopped pepper. This will be hot. Use pepper sauce to taste instead of the pepper if this is a problem. Canned chipotles in adobo are available in the Mexican section of groceries.

Horsey Seafood Cocktail Sauce

6 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons horseradish, creamed style
3 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
1 tablespoon lime juice, fresh
celery salt to taste
Dash hot-pepper sauce

Mix in a ceramic bowl, cover and chill for two hours for the flavors to meld.

Lemon Tartar Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dill sweet-pickle relish
2 tablespoons green onion, finely chopped with tops
1 tablespoon lemon peel (zest), grated
2 teaspoons lemon juice, fresh

Combine all ingredients. Keep covered in refrigerator at least four to six hours before serving. Makes about 3/4 cup.