Chopped Cheese Sandwiches Are Not At All Like Philly Cheesesteaks
Who doesn’t love a good sandwich? One of America’s most beloved and iconic sandwiches is the Philly cheesesteak. With its juicy beef, melted cheese, and soft bread, it’s a true delight for the taste buds. However, there is another sandwich that has been gaining popularity in recent years, particularly in New York City – the chopped cheese sandwich. While both sandwiches are undeniably delicious, they are distinct in their flavors, ingredients, and preparation methods. Let’s dive deeper into the world of these two mouthwatering creations and understand what sets them apart.
The Origins of the Philly Cheesesteak
Before we can compare the chopped cheese sandwich to the Philly cheesesteak, it’s important to understand the roots of the latter. The Philly cheesesteak originated in Philadelphia in the early 20th century. It is said to have been created by Pat and Harry Olivieri, who owned a hot dog stand. Looking for something different, they decided to cook some beef with onions on their grill and serve it on a roll. The addition of cheese soon followed, and the Philly cheesesteak was born.
The Chopped Cheese Phenomenon in NYC
While the Philly cheesesteak has its origins in Philadelphia, the chopped cheese sandwich is a more recent creation that has gained popularity in the streets of New York City. It is said to have originated in bodegas in Harlem during the 1990s. The chopped cheese consists of ground beef (often chopped up on the grill), onions, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and condiments, all served on a hero roll.
Ingredients and Preparation
One of the key differences between these two sandwiches lies in their ingredients. The Philly cheesesteak traditionally uses thinly sliced rib-eye steak, while the chopped cheese sandwich uses ground beef. Additionally, the Philly cheesesteak typically includes cheese options such as Cheez Whiz, provolone, or American cheese, whereas the chopped cheese sandwich often uses American cheese.
When it comes to preparation, the Philly cheesesteak is cooked on a grill or griddle, where the thinly sliced steak is quickly cooked and mixed with sautéed onions until tender. The chopped cheese sandwich, on the other hand, involves chopping up the ground beef on the grill and then incorporating onions into the mix. This method gives the chopped cheese its unique texture and flavor.
Flavor Profile and Texture
The flavor profiles of these two sandwiches differ significantly. The Philly cheesesteak has a rich, savory taste that comes from the combination of perfectly seasoned beef, caramelized onions, and melted cheese. The thinly sliced steak ensures a tender and juicy bite that pairs harmoniously with the soft bread.
On the other hand, the chopped cheese sandwich has a bold flavor profile. The ground beef, onions, and cheese blend together to create a more robust taste. Additionally, the chopped beef provides a slightly firmer texture, adding extra depth to each bite.
Popularity and Cultural Significance
Both the Philly cheesesteak and the chopped cheese sandwich hold immense cultural significance in their respective regions. The Philly cheesesteak has become an iconic symbol of Philadelphia and a must-try for visitors to the city. It has even sparked numerous debates among locals about the best place to get an authentic and delicious cheesesteak.
On the other hand, the chopped cheese sandwich has become a staple in the street food scene of New York City. Bodegas and food trucks serve them up to hungry locals and visitors alike. It has garnered attention for its affordability, hearty flavors, and representation of the diverse communities of Harlem and the Bronx.
While both the Philly cheesesteak and the chopped cheese sandwich are undoubtedly mouthwatering offerings, they are distinct in terms of ingredients, preparation methods, flavors, and cultural significance. The Philly cheesesteak is characterized by its thinly sliced rib-eye steak and rich, savory flavors, while the chopped cheese sandwich features ground beef, bolder flavors, and a unique texture. So, whether you find yourself in Philadelphia or New York City, be sure to try both sandwiches and appreciate the deliciousness they bring to the table.