Was there really a guy named Joe? Was he basically so untidy that he needed a sandwich named after him? These are the kinds of mysteries that fans of the Sloppy Joe sandwich want to know. Okay, well maybe it would just be fun to know and the actual desire to obtain this knowledge is confined to people looking for something to read in the bathroom or while trying to avoid work.

First things first, today, March 18th is Sloppy Joe Day. A day set aside for those of us who are too lazy to form ground meat into patties can stand tall and share the glory. For most of us a Sloppy Joe sandwich comes in the form of ground meat, usually, beef, mixed with ketchup, mustard, onions, and a little of this and a little of that served on a bun.

Legend has it that the Sloppy Joe took its name from a bartender in Havanna Cuba who was notorious for keeping an untidy bar. The mayor of a New Jersey town visiting Havanna during the 1930s encountered the man, the bar, and the sandwich and brought the idea back to the town of Maplewood New Jersey.

However, the town of Sioux City Iowa would dispute that claim and say the Sloppy Joe was born in their town. It was a version of the popular loose meat sandwiches sold in the midwest. The Sloppy Joe first showed up in Sioux City in 1934.

It was 1969 when the Sloppy Joe hit the big time in the form of a canned concoction called Manwich. Which I have to admit makes a pretty darn good Sloppy Joe. Although, I like you, prefer my own secret recipe to the canned creation from Hunt's.


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