|A homemade sloppy joe with coleslaw|
Early 20th century American cookbooks offer plenty of sloppy-joe type recipes, though they go by different titles: Toasted Deviled Hamburgers, Chopped Meat Sandwiches, Hamburg a la Creole, Beef Mironton, and Minced Beef Spanish Style.
Marilyn Brown, Director of the Consumer Test Kitchen at H.K. Heinz in Pittsburgh, says their research at the Carnegie Library suggests that the sloppy joe began in a Sioux City, Iowa, cafe as a "loose meat sandwich" in 1930, the creation of a cook named Joe.
References to sloppy joes as sandwiches begin by the 1940s. One example is a 1944 Coshocton Tribune ad under the heading "Good Things to Eat" says "Sloppy Joes' - 10c - Originated in Cuba - You'll ask for more - The Hamburg Shop" and elsewhere on the same page, "Hap is introducing that new sandwich at The Hamburg Shop - Sloppy Joes - 10c."
The term "sloppy Joe's" had an earlier definition of any cheap restaurant or lunch counter serving cheap food quickly, since 1940 or a type of casual clothing.
Food companies began producing packaged sloppy joe sauce, such as Manwich, by the 1960s.
Several variations of the sloppy joe exist in North America. In Quebec, Canada, sandwiches of
|Ground Buffalo "Joe"|
Stewed meat sandwiches are common in several other culinary traditions as well. The rou jia mo, from China's Shaanxi Province, consists of stewed pork, beef, or lamb on a steamed bun. Keema pav of Indian cuisine uses a pav bread roll filled with keema, a minced, stewed, curried meat.
Ground turkey or textured vegetable protein may be used as a substitute for ground beef.