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

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



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!


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!


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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