Sloppy joes are an American creation that has been around since at least the 1950s. They probably got their start as a variation of the “loose meat" sandwiches that were popular at that time. “Loose meat" sandwiches didn't contain tomato sauce.
According to legend, a cook named Joe at Floyd Angell's café in Sioux City, Iowa, added tomato sauce to his “loose meat" sandwiches and the “sloppy joe" sandwich was born. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Sloppy joes are popular with most children and are a favorite in lunch rooms in schools all over the country. They're also a favorite of parents when dinner time approaches, since sloppy joes are easy and inexpensive to make.
For your convenience, you can also use a canned product, such as Manwich, that already has most of the ingredients already mixed together. All you need to do is add ground beef! If you're a vegetarian, you can substitute vegetable protein for ground beef to make meatless sloppy joes!
Many people find the name “sloppy joes" to be rather funny. Would you believe that sloppy joes are often called by different names in different parts of the United States? It's true! Some other names for sloppy joes include: barbecues, dynamites, gulash, sloppy janes, slushburgers, steamers, wimpies, and yum yums. What do you call sloppy joes where you live?
Just like the many names for sloppy joes, you'll also find all sorts of variations on the traditional recipe around the country. Some areas use other meats, such as chicken, instead of ground beef. Other areas add special spices, like cinnamon and brown sugar. How do you like your sloppy joes?