March 24th is National Cheesesteak Day! The cheesesteak, popularly considered a Philadelphia phenomenon, finds its roots in a hotdog stand owned by two brothers in South Philadelphia, or so the story goes.
In 1930, Pat Oliveri owned a hotdog stand that he operated alongside his brother Harry. Looking to create something different, Pat placed some thin slices of beef on a grill and added some onions, then placed his new creation in a roll to treat himself to s delicious meal. Whether attracted by the smell, the sight of Pat eating the new sandwich, or both, a taxi driver approached Pat to see what he was eating. Intrigued by what he witnessed, he asked Pat to make him the same sandwich, which Pat did. After eating the sandwich, the taxi driver told Pat he should pack up the hotdogs and start selling this steak sandwich.
In time, after perfecting his new creation, the sale of the steak sandwich became so popular that Pat Oliveri determined to sell it exclusively at his new store, called Pat’s King of Steaks.
The first sandwich did not have cheese on it. Sometime in the 1940s, a manager of Oliveri’s store is credited with being the first to add cheese. This popular new addition was provolone. In the 1950s, Kraft Foods developed Cheez Whiz, a form of liquified cheddar that soon became the cheese of choice.
In the 1960s, Pat’s King of Steaks realized its first real competition when Geno’s Steaks opened directly across the street, creating a friendly rivalry that exists to this day.
Over the years, the popularity of the Philadelphia Cheesesteak grew throughout the world when Pat’s King of Steaks appeared in the 1976 Oscar winning movie Rocky, as well as its sequel, Rocky II.
Look below at some popular recipes to make a delicious cheesesteak yourself. Once you have made your selection, get in touch with your Quaker Valley Foods Sales Specialist and ask about the price and availability of the products you will need.
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