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I live in Philly but come from North Jersey/NYC, so I'm no expert. I like my cheesesteaks with provolone and fried onions - that's it. I recently got into a debate with a bunch of my high school students who insist that "real Philadelphians" put ketchup on their cheesesteaks. I vehemently disagree and believe that ketchup is for kids and people who don't like the taste of steak (or eggs, hot dogs, etc.). Who is correct?
Hey, sorry for what’s probably an awkwardly late response. But to your question—
There’s definitely debate on this topic from all parties, native Philadelphians and those who have moved here alike. Speaking for native Philadelphians, I really don’t think putting ketchup on a cheesesteak is a really common occurrence. I do it from time to time (when craving ketchup on my cheesesteak for reasons I can’t explain) but I honestly don’t think it’s something that “real Philadelphians” are obligated to do.
On the flipside, I don’t feel there’s a stigma for putting ketchup on your cheesesteak. Some people think it’s not legit to do so but I don’t really feel it’s a bad thing.
In regards to your statement about ketchup, I can see what you’re saying. I like ketchup and I loooove hot sauce but depending on what you add the condiment to, I feel that it enhances the food. Though, it could definitely mask the food with its own flavor.
I Googled “Cheesesteak Lumpia” and this is what I found. Considering I give the OK to Cheesesteak Egg Rolls, I can’t imagine any reason why I wouldn’t OK this as well.
(Source: Flickr / museopath)
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