There are two types of people in this world: those who know and love beef on weck sandwiches and those who have no idea what a beef on weck even is. And then, there's me. I am the anomaly. I've heard of the sandwich but have never tried it.

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I almost feel like I need to hang my head in shame with the admission that I saw an entire display of beef and weck sandwiches at Wegmans in Johnson City and even took the time to hold one in my hand to read the label and then I devoted more time to take a photo of the display but I did not buy one to try.

If you have no idea what a beef on weck is, it's pretty much the most popular sandwich in all of Buffalo and along the western part of New York state. Beef on weck is made with thinly sliced and rare cooked beef which is placed on a kummelweck (aka weck) roll which is your average roll except that it is topped with kosher salt and caraway seeds. The top bun is more often than not dipped in au jus and then gets a smear of horseradish before being served.

Nobody is 100 percent sure who came up with the idea of the beef on weck sandwich but if you ask anyone in Buffalo, they'll tell you that the roll was the brainchild of a German baker who may or may not have found his way to Buffalo from the Black Forest region of Germany where the people there make a loaf called Schwäbische Seele which is offered as a ceremonial offering to the dead. The Schwäbische Seele is topped with salt and caraway seeds and this is why many believe that the German baker was the one to modify the recipe and turn it into a roll.

As for the idea of putting beef on the roll, legend says it was a Buffalo pub owner who turned the roll into a sandwich figuring that the salt on the top of the roll would cause his customers to order more beverages.

No matter who came up with the idea for the kummelweck roll or who turned it into the beef on weck sandwich that it is today, if you're someone who is interested in trying foods that are well-loved in other parts of New York state, this would be one to give a go and you can pick one up on your next trip to Wegmans in Johnson City!

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