Celebrate National Sloppy Joe Day on March 18th with America's all-time favorite hot sandwich! Whether you prefer ground beef, turkey, or buffalo, the Sloppy Joe is a delicious mess of flavors that will leave you reaching for more than one napkin.
Who Created The Sloppy Joe? Meet Joe!
But who created this iconic sandwich? Meet Joe, a bartender in Havana, Cuba, who gained popularity with vacationers in the 1930s. Despite his less-than-enthusiastic approach to cleaning the bar, Joe was an attentive bartender and his establishment was a hot spot for the jet set.
However, while Joe may have earned his nickname from his sloppy cleaning habits, there is no evidence to suggest that he actually created the hot sandwich that shares his name.
- In fact, there are no mentions of a Sloppy Joe sandwich on the menu during his time in Havana.
- But wherever the Sloppy Joe sandwich came from, it's clear that it has earned a place in the hearts and stomachs of Americans everywhere. With its blend of onions, tomato sauce, brown sugar, and a variety of spices, this sandwich is a true classic that can be customized to suit any taste.
So on March 18th, be sure to celebrate #NationalSloppyJoeDay with your own twist on this beloved sandwich. Whether you stick with the classic recipe or add your own secret ingredient, one thing is for sure – it's going to be sloppy, and it's going to be delicious!
But here is more to the story...
Town Hall Deli
Reader Steven Hirsch wrote to National Day Calendar and informed us that Town Hall Deli in Maplewood, NJ has a direct connection to Sloppy Joe of Havana fame.
- It opened in 1927, and during the 1930s, Maplewood’s Mayor Sweeney traveled to Havana, where he met the bartender named Sloppy Joe and was served a delicious sandwich.
- The mayor came back to New Jersey and with a well-developed taste for Joe’s sandwich. The mayor enjoyed it so much he asked one of Town Hall Deli’s proprietors, Fred Heinz, to replicate it.
- According to the website, “It was made with coleslaw, ham, cow tongue, swiss cheese, with lots of dressing and was served on thin rye bread.
- Hence, the origin of the Sloppy Joe sandwich and how Town Hall Deli of South Orange became The Birthplace of the Sloppy Joe!”
Then in 1934…
At the Ye Olde Tavern Inn, in Sioux City, Iowa, Abraham and Bertha laid claim to the Sloppy Joe when they added a loose meat sandwich on their menu in 1934.
Whoever brought the Sloppy Joe to the world, Hunt’s made it more convenient in 1969. They put it in a can and called it Manwich.
Today many families have their secret recipes that make their Sloppy Joe’s special. Whether it’s an unusual spice, a novel ingredient for sweetening or a homemade tomato sauce, a Sloppy Joe lends itself to originality and personality. A new flavor is just around the corner. In the south, you might come across a barbecue flavor while in the north, Sloppy Joe might be a little sweeter. Whatever your flavor, it is undoubtedly an all-American food holiday!
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL SLOPPY JOE DAY
• Enjoy a delicious Sloppy Joe.
• Whip up your favorite Sloppy Joe recipe.
• Try a new recipe like one of these:
• Super Sloppy Joes
• Sloppy Joes
• Crockpot Sloppy Joe Sandwiches for a Crowd
• Sloppy Joes II
• Gumbo Sloppy Joes
• Sloppy Joes with Chicken Gumbo
• Use #NationalSloppyJoeDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL SLOPPY JOE DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of the food holiday. However, you know, with all the recipes, we get sidetracked.
Sloppy Joe FAQ
Q. Can Sloppy Joe mix be frozen?
A. Yes. When sealed in an airtight, freezer-safe container, Sloppy Joe mix can be frozen for up to six months. Tip: Make a big batch, and freeze Sloppy Joe mix in family and individual-sized containers. This way if only one person is home for meal-time they can make up a quick supper without creating a bunch of leftovers. Or if you just need to stretch it for one more person, you can add one to the family-size batch.
Q. Is it ok to make an open-face Sloppy Joe?
A. An open-face sandwich is one where one or two slices of bread serve as the base of the dish and remain on the bottom. They are typically eaten with a fork or folded slightly to take a bite. Yes, open-face Sloppy Joes are a common way of eating this delicious sandwich.
Q. How many calories are in a Sloppy Joe sandwich?
A. A half-cup serving of Sloppy Joes on a white bread hamburger bun contains approximately 256 calories.
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