I realized this week that literal decades have passed since I last ate a Sloppy Joe sandwich, a childhood favorite that has, from all indications, faded in popularity. While plenty of other supposedly kid-centric meals have been reinvented for more discerning, more mature—dare I say more upscale?—palettes, the poor Sloppy Joe has not, as of yet, gotten the same treatment as macaroni and cheese or peanut butter and jelly. What’s more, I’m not even sure children are eating them these days.
There are numerous possible explanations for this decline in prominence, and it’s also completely possible that I’m totally off-base. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong. Maybe kids from Kalamazoo to San Berdoo are still chowing on the tantalizingly spiced, definitively messy, tomato-based hodgepodge of ground beef, onions and, let’s be honest, whatever the hell else Mom could find in the bottom drawer of the fridge. For what it’s worth, a Twitter follower hipped me to existence of a gourmet Sloppy Joe truck based right here in D.C. Perhaps the reports of Joe’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
Nonetheless, I took to Google Chat yesterday afternoon to collect some completely unscientific evidence that might help explain or disprove the Sloppy Joe’s dwindling prominence. What follows are selected transcripts from those conversations. Share your thoughts in the comments below! Continue reading