The “Chop Cheese” Sandwich Controversy! Food Culture Vs. Gentrifying Good Taste!

Thoughts: does making an homage to a food item risk misappropriating it?

johnrieber

chopped-cheese-sandwich-new-york-times

Behold The “Chop Cheese!”

It’s a sandwich that’s been sold in Harlem for decades, and now it’s at the center of a cultural battle!

Here is how the New York Times describes it:

“The sandwich, also called a chop cheese — ground beef with onions, topped by melted cheese and served with lettuce, tomatoes and condiments on a hero roll — has long been a staple of bodegas in Harlem and the Bronx.”

And it is at the center of a cultural food battle!

the-chop-cheese-sandwich

It all started with a video that showed the sandwich, and since then, The Times reports that:

“it has started migrating from grill tops to restaurant menus, from the lyrics of rappers onto the pages of food blogs.”

And with that, the cultural food battle was on!

harlem-chopped-cheese-sandwich

The New York Times has two great stories about the “Chop Cheese”: where it came from, and why it…

View original post 321 more words



Categories: Uncategorized

17 replies

  1. I’m not sure about the battle with culture but man, I want to try a chop cheese now. This looks delicious!

    • I posted this story because I found the cultural misappropriation charge a bit of an overreach, but they should have at least acknowledged the influence behind it – I mean, everyone know where a “cubano” sandwich comes from….and yes, I’d order up a few for sure! Thanks for the comment!

  2. All great foods are both cultural and copied. The better the food the more it’s copied. This is a long-standing human tradition. The next step will be to put a spin on it.

  3. Knockoffs of great ideas and products are a certainty. The sandwich looks great–since there isn’t a patent on it, it’s goodness is gonna spread.

  4. I have never heard of this sandwich before, but I haven’t spent much time in NY

  5. This looks interesting! I have had a similar one before, with scrambled eggs and ground beef + the rest. Great post 🙂

  6. I’d never heard of a chop cheese before, but now I really really want one…

  7. I do remember this from last time, John. I like the look of the original Harlem version myself.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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