News – “Investigation: WTF is a ‘Lehigh Valley cheesesteak’?”

phillyvoice.comIt started out as a Tweet. How did it end up like this?

Let’s rewind to last week – specifically, Friday morning – when local journalist Ryan W. Briggs posted a stock photograph of a jar of Tallarico’s “Philly Style” Steak Sandwich Sauce. It was accompanied by a snarky tagline of sorts.

“BREAKING: People from Allentown are under the impression that people in Philly routinely smother their cheesesteaks in red gravy,” it read.

Me being me, I immediately took umbrage to the thought of outsiders doing something differently to a Philadelphia food staple than what Philadelphians do to that food staple.

I was not alone.

Briggs’s tweet got some traction, but pro and con. The bubble-world soon came to realize that some who walk among us vociferously defend a “Lehigh Valley cheesesteak” featuring sauce where Philadelphians think sauce should not be. (See hereherehere, and here for background.)

I set aside my initial inclination to write a pickles or Diner en Blanc-style takedown. We’re living in perilous times that warrant a little self-restraint and kindness extended towards others.

Instead, I reached out to the good people at Tallarico’s so they could explain how this sauce came to be.

Cheesesteak SauceBRIAN HICKEY/PHILLYVOICE…..Sampling Philly cheesesteaks with Tallarico’s ‘Philly Style’ steak sandwich sauce.

Okay so anyone that’s read any of my previous posts knows that I love a good cheesesteak and I know most people get stuck in their ways so this concept is probably blasphemous to many native Philadelphians……..but I would give this a shot. If there’s one thing I learned since we started this food adventure it’s always go into these things with an open mind, because you’d be surprised at the gems you can find. 

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