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National Cheesesteak Day

March 24, 2023 All day

a hot cheesesteak and fries on a cutting board for National Cheesesteak Day

March 24th is National Cheesesteak Day!

National Cheesesteak Day is a celebration of one of America’s most iconic and beloved sandwiches. The cheesesteak, which originated in Philadelphia, is a simple yet delicious sandwich made with thinly sliced steak, melted cheese, and a variety of toppings. On National Cheesesteak Day, people across the country come together to honor this culinary masterpiece and indulge in its savory flavors.

A Brief History of the Cheesesteak

The history of the cheesesteak can be traced back to the 1930s in Philadelphia, where it was first created by Pat Olivieri, a hot dog vendor who decided to grill up some steak instead. He added some cheese and served it on a hoagie roll, and the rest is history. The sandwich quickly became popular among locals, and soon other vendors began selling their own versions.

Today, the cheesesteak has become an American classic, with variations found in cities all across the country. However, the original Philly cheesesteak remains the most famous and beloved, with many claiming that the secret to its success lies in the quality of the ingredients and the technique used to prepare it.

How to Make a Classic Philly cheesesteak

To make a classic Philly cheesesteak, you start with a long, crusty roll that is soft on the inside. The roll is then filled with thinly sliced ribeye steak, which is cooked on a griddle with onions until it is tender and juicy. The steak is then topped with melted cheese, typically either provolone or Cheez Whiz, and finished off with a variety of toppings, including peppers, mushrooms, and even ketchup or hot sauce.

The result is a sandwich that is both hearty and flavorful, with the steak and cheese combining to create a savory, melt-in-your-mouth experience. Whether you’re a Philly native or a first-time cheesesteak eater, there’s no denying the appeal of this classic sandwich.

Creative Cheesesteak Toppings

While the classic Philly cheesesteak sandwich is made with thinly sliced ribeye steak, onions, and melted cheese, there are many creative toppings that can be added to elevate the flavors and textures of this beloved sandwich. Here are some ideas for unique cheesesteak toppings:

  1. Peppers: Adding sautéed peppers, such as red or green bell peppers or spicy banana peppers, can add a sweet or spicy kick to your cheesesteak.
  2. Mushrooms: Sliced mushrooms can add a rich, earthy flavor to your sandwich, and pair well with the savory steak and cheese.
  3. Jalapeños: If you like your sandwich spicy, adding sliced jalapeños can give your cheesesteak a bold kick.
  4. Bacon: Everything’s better with bacon! Adding crispy bacon bits to your sandwich can add a smoky, salty flavor.
  5. Fried Onions: For an extra crunch, consider adding crispy fried onions to your sandwich. They add texture and a subtle sweetness that complements the savory steak and cheese.
  6. Guacamole: For a unique twist on the classic cheesesteak, try adding a dollop of fresh guacamole. The creamy texture and bright flavors can complement the richness of the steak and cheese.
  7. Sriracha Sauce: If you’re a fan of heat, drizzle some sriracha sauce on your sandwich for a spicy kick.
  8. BBQ Sauce: For a tangy, smoky flavor, try adding a drizzle of BBQ sauce to your sandwich. This pairs well with the savory steak and cheese.
  9. Roasted Garlic: Roasted garlic can add a depth of flavor to your cheesesteak sandwich. Simply roast garlic cloves in the oven until they are tender and spreadable, and then add them to your sandwich.
  10. Salsa: For a fresh and zesty flavor, consider adding a spoonful of your favorite salsa to your cheesesteak sandwich. This can add a bright, acidic flavor that pairs well with the savory steak and cheese.

With these creative toppings, you can elevate the flavors and textures of your cheesesteak sandwich and create a unique and delicious meal.

On National Cheesesteak Day, restaurants across the country offer special deals and promotions to celebrate the occasion. Some may even offer limited-time variations on the classic sandwich, adding their own unique twists and flavors to this beloved dish.

However, it’s important to remember that the cheesesteak is more than just a sandwich – it’s a symbol of American culture and a testament to the power of culinary innovation. The history of the cheesesteak is a reminder that sometimes the simplest ideas can have the greatest impact, and that great food can bring people together like nothing else.

In addition to celebrating the cheesesteak itself, National Cheesesteak Day is also a time to honor the people who make and serve these sandwiches every day. Cheesesteak vendors are often an integral part of their local communities, serving up delicious food and contributing to the cultural fabric of the neighborhoods they call home.

As we celebrate National Cheesesteak Day, let us remember the history, culture, and community that make this sandwich so special. Whether you’re enjoying a classic Philly cheesesteak or a unique variation from a local restaurant, take a moment to appreciate the flavors, the people, and the traditions that make this iconic sandwich so beloved.