Cheese Steak

Culture, Politics

First, a little background:

A cheese steak sandwich is not really a steak at all — it is a sandwich made with chipped steak, steak that has been frozen and sliced really thin) and cooked on a grill top. Locals think in terms of steak sandwiches with or without cheese. Without cheese, the sandwich is referred to as a steak. With cheese, it is a cheese steak or cheesesteak. Cheeze Whiz is the topping of choice for serious steak connoisseurs. However, you can also use provolone cheese.

The cheese steak was supposedly invented by Pat Olivieri in the 1930s, although cheese wasn’t added till twenty years later.

The important point here is the cheese. As you see, the proper choices are Cheez Whiz or provolone. Here is a picture of the Cheez Wiz being added to a Cheese Steak. (To think that I actually used to eat that stuff…) That’s why Kerry caused a scandal when he (a product of summers in the Alps, I suppose) ordered his with Swiss Cheese! So, naturally, the Bush folks used this to their advantage, and ran an add where Bush says:

You know, this is my 32nd visit to your state since I’ve been president. A lot of people wonder why I’m coming so much. It ought to be obvious to you; I like my cheese steak Wiz with.

(Note: I’m not sure about this transcript. Is this supposed to be Philladelphia-ism? Maybe the Philly-based LanguageLog folks can help out?)

Well, Atrios informs us that Kathleen E. Carey of The [Delaware County, Pa.] Daily Times did some reporting on this and found out that Bush wasn’t being completely honest:

She reported that Bush actually prefers his steak absent of the usual Cheez Whiz and provolone, accompanied only by cheese of the American variety,” information that she obtained from her own Deep Throat, one Caeser Barnabei, the owner of the well-known cheesesteak shop, Jim’s Place. Barnabei, who has fed the Bush camp on previous swings through Pennsylvania and provided 70 to 80 hoagies” for the Bush campaign yesterday, confided to Carey that the Jim’s Special is altered to whet the W’ appetite.”

OK, it isn’t in the same league as the Swift Boat story, but I think Kerry shouldn’t just sit there and let Bush get away with this!