When it comes to comfort food, nothing beats a sloppy joe. You know, the sandwich consisting of ground beef, onions, tomato sauce or ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun.

It's one of my favorite things to cook up at home. My choice is Heinz Home Style Sloppy Joe Sauce. But I only use about half the can with a pound of hamburger instead of a full can like the instructions call for.

It seems everybody has their own special twist of recipes. It’s similar to the battle of who makes the best chili.

My way on the sloppy joes, is along with the half can of sauce,  I then add ketchup, mustard, sugar, seasonings and vegetable flakes. How much of each? Well that's part of the fun as you kind of decide as you go with a few taste tests.

So who was the first person on the planet to make a sloppy joe? It had to be some greasy spoon joint everybody called "Sloppy Joe's"! So I wasn't surprised when I learned that was exactly what happened. But I was surprised how close this place was to home.

Marilyn Brown, Director of the Consumer Test Kitchen at H.K. Heinz in Pittsburgh, says their research at the Carnegie Library suggests that the Sloppy Joe began in a Sioux City, Iowa, cafe as a "loose meat sandwich" in 1930, the creation of a cook named Joe.

The Ye Olde Tavern Inn in Sioux City, Iowa claims to be the birthplace. This could be why the sandwiches are sometimes referred to as taverns.

The story goes that in 1924 a cook named Joe added tomato sauce to his "loose meat" sandwiches and customers loved it.

Food companies began producing packaged sloppy joe sauce by the 1960s. The most famous of all was Hunt’s Manwich that came out in 1969.


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