Philly cheesesteak is an iconic sandwich that has been charming the taste buds of people for decades. The combination of juicy meat, melted cheese, and crusty bread is a delight in itself, but adding a sauce to it can elevate its flavor to a whole new level. In this article, we will explore different sauces that you can pair with your Philly cheesesteak for an unforgettable culinary experience.
The Classic: Cheez Whiz
When we talk about Philly cheesesteak sauces, the first name that comes to mind is Cheez Whiz. This gooey, processed, and slightly sweet cheese sauce has been quintessential to Philly cheesesteak for a long time. Cheez Whiz complements the meat and bread so well that it almost feels like a match made in heaven!
Interestingly, Cheez Whiz was not always the go-to sauce for Philly cheesesteak. In fact, it was only in the 1960s that it gained popularity as a topping for the sandwich. Before that, provolone or American cheese slices were the preferred options. However, Cheez Whiz’s convenience and easy-to-melt nature made it a hit among the busy cheesesteak vendors, and soon it became a staple in the Philly food scene.
The Fan Favorite: Provolone
If you are not a fan of processed cheese, provolone is a great alternative to try. This semi-hard cheese has a rich and tangy flavor that goes well with the beefy taste of the steak. Some people prefer it melted on top of the meat, while others like to add it at the bottom of the bread for an evenly distributed flavor.
Provolone cheese originated in Southern Italy and is made from cow’s milk. It is aged for at least four months, which gives it a slightly sharp taste. Provolone is also a versatile cheese that can be used in a variety of dishes, including sandwiches, pizzas, and pasta dishes. It is a popular choice for cheese boards and pairs well with red wine and cured meats.
The Tangy Option: BBQ Sauce
If you have a taste for tangy, smoky, and sweet flavors, BBQ sauce can be an excellent choice to pair with your cheesesteak. The combination of sweet and spicy sauce with juicy meat and melted cheese is a perfect amalgamation of flavors. You can even add caramelized onions and green peppers to enhance the taste even more.
Did you know that BBQ sauce originated in the Southern United States in the late 1800s? It was initially used as a marinade for meat, but eventually became a popular condiment for barbecue dishes. Today, there are many variations of BBQ sauce, including tomato-based, vinegar-based, and mustard-based. Each type has its unique flavor profile and can add a different dimension to your cheesesteak.
The Spicy Choice: Sriracha Mayo
If you want to add some heat and spice to your cheesesteak, sriracha mayo is a great option to try. The creamy and spicy sauce complements the savory flavors of the steak and adds another dimension to its taste. You can also use other spicy sauces like hot sauce or jalapeno sauce to give it a fiery kick.
However, if you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can still add some flavor to your cheesesteak with other condiments. For example, adding some caramelized onions or sautéed mushrooms can give it a sweet and savory taste. You can also try adding some tangy pickles or a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a unique twist on the classic cheesesteak.
The Sweet and Savory Combo: Honey Mustard
If you want to try something sweet with a little bit of tanginess, honey mustard can be an excellent choice to pair with your cheesesteak. The sweetness of honey complements the savory flavors of the steak and cheese, while the mustard adds a tangy flavor to the mix. You can use different variations of mustard, like dijon mustard or spicy brown mustard, to switch up the taste.
Additionally, honey mustard can also be a healthier alternative to other condiments like mayonnaise or ketchup. Honey is a natural sweetener and contains antioxidants, while mustard is low in calories and high in flavor. So, not only does honey mustard taste great, but it can also be a healthier option for your sandwich.
The Creamy Alternative: Garlic Aioli
If you are looking for a creamy alternative to your regular sauces, garlic aioli can be a great choice. The creamy and tangy garlic-flavored sauce adds a delicious twist to the classic cheesesteak. You can also use other aioli variations like lemon aioli or chipotle aioli to mix things up.
Garlic aioli is not only a great addition to sandwiches, but it can also be used as a dip for fries, vegetables, and even seafood. The garlic flavor pairs well with the saltiness of fries and the sweetness of roasted vegetables. It can also add a zesty kick to shrimp or crab cakes.
Making garlic aioli at home is easy and requires only a few ingredients. All you need is garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice, and oil. You can also add other seasonings like mustard or herbs to customize the flavor. However, be careful when making aioli as it can easily break if the ingredients are not properly emulsified.
The Bold Flavor: Horseradish Sauce
If you want to add a bold and zesty flavor to your cheesesteak, horseradish sauce is the way to go. The spicy and pungent flavor of the horseradish complements the beefy taste of the steak and the melted cheese. It can be a great addition to your sandwich if you want to add some oomph to it.
Horseradish sauce is not only a great addition to cheesesteaks, but it can also be used as a dipping sauce for other dishes. It pairs well with roasted meats, grilled vegetables, and even seafood. The sauce is made from grated horseradish root, vinegar, and mayonnaise, giving it a creamy texture and tangy taste. If you’re a fan of spicy and flavorful sauces, horseradish sauce is definitely worth a try.
The Traditional Pick: Ketchup and Mustard
If you are a traditionalist, you can never go wrong with the classic combination of ketchup and mustard. The sweet and tangy flavor of ketchup complements the spiciness of mustard and adds a delicious taste to your sandwich.
However, did you know that ketchup and mustard can also be used as ingredients in other dishes? Ketchup can be used as a base for barbecue sauce or as a topping for meatloaf, while mustard can be used as a marinade for chicken or as a dressing for salads.
Another interesting fact is that ketchup and mustard have been around for centuries. Ketchup originated in China as a fermented fish sauce, while mustard has been used since ancient times as a medicinal plant. It wasn’t until the 18th century that ketchup and mustard were combined and used as a condiment for food.
The Gourmet Twist: Truffle Mayo
If you are feeling fancy and want to try something gourmet, truffle mayo can be an excellent choice to pair with your cheesesteak. The luxurious and earthy flavor of truffles adds a unique and refined taste to the sandwich that is hard to find elsewhere. It may be a bit pricey, but it’s worth the splurge!
Truffle mayo is made by mixing truffle oil or truffle paste with mayonnaise. Truffle oil is a type of oil that is infused with the flavor and aroma of truffles, while truffle paste is made by blending truffles with oil or butter. Both options can be used to make truffle mayo, and the choice depends on personal preference and availability. Truffle mayo can also be used as a dip for fries or as a spread for burgers and sandwiches, making it a versatile condiment to have in your pantry.
Vegan Options: Cashew Cheese Sauce and Vegan Mayo
For our vegan readers, fear not, there are plenty of options to choose from! Cashew cheese sauce is a creamy and nutty alternative to traditional cheese sauce that pairs well with the Philly cheesesteak. You can also try vegan mayo with different flavor variations to add a creamy and tangy flavor to your sandwich.
In addition to the cashew cheese sauce and vegan mayo, we also offer a variety of plant-based protein options to add to your sandwich. You can choose from seitan, tofu, or tempeh to replace the meat in your Philly cheesesteak. These options are not only delicious, but also provide a great source of protein.
For those who are gluten-free, we have gluten-free bread options available. You can still enjoy the delicious flavors of our Philly cheesesteak with a gluten-free bun. We also have gluten-free sides, such as sweet potato fries and kale chips, to complete your meal.
Homemade Sauces to Try with Your Cheesesteak
If you prefer to make everything from scratch, you can experiment with different homemade sauces to pair with your cheesesteak. From creamy garlic sauce to spicy jalapeno sauce, you can use your creativity to come up with unique and delicious sauces to complement your sandwich.
One popular homemade sauce to try with your cheesesteak is a tangy barbecue sauce. This sauce is made with ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and a blend of spices. It adds a sweet and smoky flavor to your sandwich that pairs well with the savory beef and melted cheese.
Another great sauce to try is a creamy horseradish sauce. This sauce is made with sour cream, horseradish, and a touch of lemon juice. It adds a tangy and slightly spicy kick to your sandwich that cuts through the richness of the cheese and beef.
Regional Variations of Philly Cheesesteak Sauces
Philly cheesesteak has been around for so long that it has developed its regional variations, and the sauces vary accordingly. For instance, in Philadelphia, the traditional topping is Cheez Whiz, while in New York, they prefer American cheese. Similarly, other regional variations include pizza sauce, buffalo sauce, and marinara sauce.
Tips for Pairing the Perfect Sauce with Your Cheesesteak
Pairing the right sauce with your Philly cheesesteak can be a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. The key is to experiment with different flavors, textures, and ingredients until you find the perfect combination that satisfies your taste buds. You can also try different sauces with different cheeses and meats to switch up the taste.
Serving Suggestions for Philly Cheesesteak and Sauces
Now that you know which sauces to try with your cheesesteak, it’s time to talk about serving suggestions. A classic Philly cheesesteak is usually served with French fries or onion rings and a cold beverage. Depending on your preference, you can also add toppings like sauteed mushrooms, bell peppers, or caramelized onions to enhance the taste even further.
In conclusion, Philly cheesesteak is a versatile sandwich that can be paired with different sauces to delight your taste buds. Whether you like it simple or bold, sweet, or tangy, there is a sauce for everyone. So, the next time you have a craving for a cheesesteak, try a different sauce and see how it can turn your sandwich into a flavor bomb!