National Sloppy Joe Day is observed annually on March 18 and is a celebration of the finest sandwich of all time, the sloppy Joe. The sandwich has been popular in fast-food restaurants and on kitchen tables for approximately 95 years.
The purpose of this day is to celebrate the wholesomeness of a sandwich that has changed the way people view sandwiches. The sloppy Joe’s base recipe of onions, ground beef, and tomato sauce has gained worldwide popularity, and depending on where you are in the world, you can find delectable variations that incorporate other regional ingredients.
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HISTORY OF NATIONAL SLOPPY JOE DAY
Multiple assertions have been made regarding the origin of the sloppy Joe. According to one assertion, the sandwich debuted in 1920 in Havana, Cuba. A bartender nicknamed José Abel Otero. José developed and effectively marketed a simple sandwich based on Ropa Vieja, a Cuban dish consisting of shredded beef, tomato sauce, and spices.
He also sold iced seafood, which frequently melted and made the bar floor sloppy and damp. Customers referred to José as “sloppy Joe” because he was well-known for his sandwiches and slick bar floors. The name adhered to both him and the sandwich, ironically.
A number of years later, Ernest Hemingway, a patron of the Havana bar, suggested to a friend, Joe Russell, who had just opened a restaurant in Key West, Florida, that he serve the sandwich but rename it the “Havana sandwich.”
According to an alternative origin myth, the Joe may have been a variation of the extremely popular “loose meat” sandwiches of the 1930s. At a cafe in Sioux City, a chef named Joe added tomato sauce to limp meat, thereby creating the delicious sloppy Joe.
In 1969, Hunt’s, a manufacturer of ketchup, introduced the ‘Manwich,’ which simplified the preparation of the sloppy Joe. The Manwich was promoted as more than just a sandwich and consisted of a can containing sloppy Joe sauce.
Common Sloppy Joe Recipes
Although we lack the space to list every sloppy Joe variation we’ve encountered, we can list the ones we believe to be the most promising. Below are some of the names of recipes that we believe our readers will be clamoring to make for this holiday.
- Sloppy Joes Served On Hawaiian Rolls
- Sloppy Joes Served With French Onion Buns
- Gumbo Sloppy Joe’s