The sandwich is a marvelous invention, second only to cocktail umbrellas. Each nation has their own popular sandwich utilizing customary ingredients. The Cubano sandwich, the Monte Cristo and the Bánh Mì, which happens to be a Vietnamese specialty, are prime examples of popular sandwiches from around the world. Philadelphia’s cheesesteak just so happens to be a sandwich with the flexibility and popularity to be reinvented by sandwich connoisseurs.

From the land of beer and bratwurst is a variation of the South Philly classicWe’ll consider this a loose interpretation of the historic sandwich but acknowledge the effort. The similarities between the two sandwiches are as follows: meat, cheese and bread. The first major difference is that the German version uses pork loin soaked in a brine instead of cheap cuts of beef. In place of the standard cheeses (provolone, American or even whiz) is Limburger cheese. To finish it off, this “cheesesteak” rests on top of a pumpernickel hoagie roll instead of the classic Italian hoagie.

Brace yourselves because this will probably have most Philadelphians pulling out their hair. Instead of the standard cheesesteak toppings (onions) the recipe calls for apples, sauerkraut, and onions. A lot of cheesesteak enthusiasts get angry when peppers and mushrooms are added. Throwing apples and sauerkraut into the mix might be asking for trouble.

Although this version is far from the original steak sandwich, the key technique is still applied. The recipe calls for the pork to be cut into very thin slices and cooked on a flat top griddle, which screams Philadelphia but…even with the similarities between the two “cheesesteaks” I’m going to have to disagree with the Food Network.

The Philly cheesesteak sandwich is based on simplicity and inexpensive ingredients. This version uses ingredients that are just too different from the original and it uses too many of them. I’m sorry Germany, this just won’t cut it in Philly.

[Recipe Credit: Food Network]

[Photo Credit: Galen Fry Singer & Marin Lacross Club]