Are you a foodie who loves discovering new dishes? Or perhaps you’re a New Yorker who’s curious about the city’s famous food scene? Either way, you can’t go wrong with the Chopped Cheese sandwich.
The Chopped Cheese is a beloved sandwich that has been a staple in the New York City food scene for decades. It is a simple sandwich made with ground beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and condiments, but its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. This sandwich is so popular that it has even been featured in a rap song by A$AP Rocky, and it has become a symbol of the city’s food culture.
In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the Chopped Cheese, from its history to its ingredients and how to make it at home.
The Chopped Cheese is a sandwich that originated in the bodegas of Harlem, New York, in the 1990s. It is made with chopped ground beef, melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, and condiments such as mayonnaise, ketchup, and hot sauce. The sandwich is usually served on a hero roll, which is a long bread roll that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
The History of the Chopped Cheese
The history of the Chopped Cheese can be traced back to the bodegas of Harlem in the 1990s. Bodegas are small grocery stores that can be found on almost every street corner in New York City, and they are known for their inexpensive and quick food options.
The Chopped Cheese was created as an alternative to the classic cheeseburger, which was too expensive for many bodega customers. Bodega owners started making the sandwich using the ingredients they had on hand, and it quickly became a hit.
How to Make a Chopped Cheese Sandwich
If you want to try the Chopped Cheese for yourself, you can make it at home with just a few ingredients. Here’s how:
The Best Places to Get a Chopped Cheese Sandwich in New York
If you’re visiting New York City and want to try an authentic Chopped Cheese sandwich, there are plenty of places to choose from. Here are some of the best:
Hajji’s is a small bodega located in Harlem that is famous for its Chopped Cheese sandwich. The sandwich is made with high-quality beef and is served on a fresh hero roll. It’s a must-try if you’re in the area.
The Chopped Cheese Sandwich
Are you a foodie who loves discovering new dishes? Or perhaps you're a New Yorker who's curious about the city's famous food scene? Either way, you can't go wrong with the Chopped Cheese sandwich.
For starters, sliced cheese sandwiches use ground beef while cheesesteaks use slivered steak. This difference means that shredded paneer is easier to make at home. We’ve already worked on cheesesteak so let’s turn to shredded cheese and see if we can make a decent homemade version!
The cheese on the shredded cheese will likely be shredded American cheese, not the CheeseWhiz seen on some Philly cheesesteaks. While cheesesteaks only contain cooked vegetables, shredded cheese usually consists of some fresh tomatoes and lettuce on the sandwich.
2. Blue Sky Deli
Located in East Harlem, Blue Sky Deli is another great spot for Chopped Cheese sandwiches. The deli is known for its generous portions, and the Chopped Cheese sandwich is no exception. If you’re looking for a filling meal, this is the place to go.
3. Harlem Shambles
If you’re looking for a more upscale take on the Chopped Cheese, check out Harlem Shambles. This butcher shop and restaurant serves a Chopped Cheese sandwich made with grass-fed beef and homemade bread. It’s a bit pricier than the average bodega sandwich, but it’s worth it for the quality.
Why is the Chopped Cheese so Popular?
The Chopped Cheese has become a cultural phenomenon in New York City, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down. But why has this simple sandwich become such a hit?
One reason is its accessibility. The Chopped Cheese is available at almost every bodega in the city, making it an easy and affordable meal option for New Yorkers on the go.
Another reason is its unique flavor. The combination of ground beef, melted cheese, and condiments creates a savory, satisfying taste that’s hard to resist.
Finally, the Chopped Cheese has a cultural significance that goes beyond its taste. It’s a symbol of the city’s food culture and its diversity, and it’s become an iconic part of New York City’s culinary history.
The Controversy Surrounding the Chopped Cheese
Despite its popularity, the Chopped Cheese has also been the subject of controversy in recent years. Some critics argue that the sandwich is a symbol of gentrification, as it has become more popular with hipsters and tourists in recent years.
Others argue that the sandwich is unhealthy and contributes to the city’s high rates of obesity and heart disease.
However, supporters of the Chopped Cheese argue that it’s a staple of the city’s food culture and should be celebrated as such. They also point out that the sandwich can be made with healthier ingredients, such as turkey or chicken, and that it’s up to the individual to make healthy choices.
Chopped Cheese a big part of its fame outside of NYC has seen the affectionate name drop in hip-hop culture as well as Anthony Bourdain’s mention in Parts Unknown. In the mid-2010s, a handful of chefs took the upscale shredded cheese, provoking accusations of culturally appropriating what many New Yorkers would call the closeness with the sandwich a specialty of the hood. If you don’t have a corner bodega near you for your shredded cheese fix, make this recipe and be a part of its still-unfolding story
What kind of cheese is used in a Chopped Cheese sandwich?
American cheese is the traditional cheese used in a Chopped Cheese sandwich.
Can I make a Chopped Cheese sandwich with a different type of bread?
Yes, you can use any type of bread you like for a Chopped Cheese sandwich. However, a hero roll is the traditional choice.
Is the Chopped Cheese sandwich spicy?
It can be, depending on the amount of hot sauce you use.
Can I make a Chopped Cheese sandwich with ground turkey or chicken instead of beef?
Yes, you can use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef for a healthier option.
Where can I find the best Chopped Cheese sandwich in New York City?
There are many great places to try a Chopped Cheese sandwich in New York City, including Hajji’s, Blue Sky Deli, and Harlem Shambles.
Is the Chopped Cheese sandwich really that good?
Yes, it’s a delicious and satisfying sandwich that’s worth trying if you’re a fan of hearty, savory flavors.
The Chopped Cheese is a classic New York City sandwich that has become a cultural icon. Its simple yet satisfying flavor has won over locals and tourists alike, and its accessibility makes it a convenient and affordable meal option. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a curious newcomer, the Chopped Cheese is a must-try when exploring the city’s vibrant food scene.