The history of foods and origination have often gone into the ether of debate. It seems the cheesesteak has more solid documentation.
Documentation, but shakey documentation. As demonstrated by the two conflicting accounts of the origins of cheese and cheez whiz on a Philly steak, by the son of the originator of the sandwich! Someone needs to have him set the record straight once and for all, before he passes away. Maybe he doesn't even know for sure since this all happened such a long time ago.
Added - it looks like the NPR link I posted says the interview was with Frank Olivieri Sr., and the one from Bruce was quoting Frank Olivieri Jr. (Harry's grandson) But still, you have two people who are descended from one of the co-founders of the Philly cheesesteak telling different stories. I wonder if Frank Sr. is still alive.
The basis of the cheesesteak is spreading around the country with local interpretations. If the cheesesteak is on the menu with the traditional ingredients most bar/grill/restaurants might say "Philly" but often will only use the "cheesesteak" word if derivative with say Swiss or gouda. I've now had cheesesteak sandwiches with bison and caribou. I have also had cheesesteak sandwiches with mozzarella cheese. I haven't had chicken though I have seen it.
I agree that if you vary from the Philly formula, just call it a cheesesteak and leave the Philly out. I don't even know how we got on this Whiz tangent. I can't believe that some people would defend processed Swiss slices on a "Philly" would dare take a stab at Whiz.
Since my wife likes chopped chicken/cheese hoagies, I think I may try to thinly slice partially frozen boneless thigh meat, then cook it up with olive oil, onions, mushrooms and (of course) top it with Whiz. It's gotta be better than those chopped/formed/frozen cardboard sheets!
post edited by TrentonDog - 2010/08/29 17:08:29