As any parent can attest, getting young kids to eat their food can be really difficult sometimes. More often than not, the better part of a meal winds up virtually anywhere on the kid except in his or her mouth. And nothing could be more messy than sloppy joes, right? After all, it says it is “sloppy” right in the name.
Well, we just found the funniest video of a mom trying to get her young son to eat his sloppy joe. But the kid is not having any of it, and his reason is going to make you laugh when you watch this video.
This hilarious video got us to thinking about sloppy joes. Well, that and we were working on this article right before lunch. We decided to look into this sumptuous sandwich and discover everything you ever wanted to know about them, but were afraid to ask.
The sloppy joe is one of our nation’s quintessential native dishes. The sandwich first turned up in American cookbooks in the years just before World War II. Dishes like the Toasted Devilled Hamburger, Hamburg a la Creole, Beef Mironton, and Minced Beef Spanish Style were all early versions of the classic sloppy joe, but perhaps the best case for its origins comes from the director of the Consumer Test Kitchen at HJ Heinz, who believes that it started as a loose meat sandwich in a Sioux City, Iowa diner in 1930.
The classic sloppy joe is basically ground beef or hamburger, onions, tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, and various spices, served on a hamburger bun.
The actual term “sloppy joe” was a slang phrase used to describe any lunch counter or diner that served cheap food fast, and by 1940 it had come to be the generic term for these sandwiches.
While the name sloppy joe is by far the most common, in some parts of the country you need to ask for a “wimpie,” a “slush burger,” or a “yip yip” if you really want one, and in North Jersey, ordering a sloppy joe will get you an entirely different cold sandwich made with sliced deli meats, cheese and russian dressing, so be careful what you ask for!
In the 1960’s the sloppy joe went big time with the introduction of the ConAgra-Heinz product, Manwich, which has become as synonymous with sloppy joes as “kleenex” has with facial tissue.
Their slogan for the Manwich has become one of the iconic marketing phrases of the twentieth century: “A sandwich is a sandwich, but a Manwich is a meal” is as ingrained on our collective psyche as “Where’s the beef?” and “Have a Coke and a smile.”
The sloppy joe is just one of a number of foods that America has contributed to the culinary world. Thanks to our diverse heritage, we can also lay claim to such gastronomic marvels as the breakfast burrito, German chocolate cake, Italian dressing, Russian dressing, the hamburger, and pretty much anything called “Chinese” food. FYI, not only is food in China very different than in the US, they also just call it food.
What is your favorite memory of teaching your children to eat? Do you have a special recipe for sloppy joes? Please share your thoughts and stories with us here.