It’s been a while since I’ve had a Sloppy Joe. When I was a kid a Sloppy Joe sandwich was ground beef, a sweet tomato sauce with ketchup tendencies, salt, pepper, some finely chopped green peppers and onions, maybe a little garlic and Worcestershire sauce.

After you cooked those great ingredients you threw that on a toasted potato roll. Boy I ate those sandwiches like M & M’s.

The original Sloppy Joe, historians say was created in Sioux City, Iowa when a chef added canned tomato sauce to his ground beef. The Sloppy Joe got a pretty big push with the success of Manwich, which was Sloppy Joe sauce in a can, and you just add ground beef.

The commercial was a staple on national TV throughout the 70’s and 80’s. The old school version of Sloppy Joe is nothing like that found in Maplewood and South Orange, New Jersey.

In true Jersey fashion, leave it to one of us to find another true recipe for a Sloppy Joe. The Jersey version was created back in the 1930’s at The Town Hall Deli.

It was created by the owner of The Town Hall Deli when he traveled to Cuba where he paid a visit to Sloppy Joe’s Bar and the Sloppy Joe was the bar’s signature sandwich.

The sandwich is made with rye bread or dark bread like pumpernickel crusts removed, add Swiss cheese, lunch meat, usually turkey, pastrami and rare roast beef, add a scoop of coleslaw and Thousand Island dressing. It’s layered like a club sandwich with an extra piece of bread in the middle to soak up the goodness.

It is good, very good. So the next time you or the kids yell out we want a Sloppy Joe make sure it’s a Jersey Sloppy Joe.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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