The Real New Yorker’s Sandwich

(upbeat sync music) – [Narrator] This, my
friends, is the story of the real New Yorker's sandwich and the people who keep the legacy alive. – I've been eating here for 20 years. (upbeat jazz music) – [Narrator] On 110th and 1st Avenue, inside the bodega best known
as Hajji's, we meet Salah. – Yo, boss, let me get two chopped cheese with everything on it. – Lettuce, tomato, pickle, ketchup. – Put bacon on it, too,
salt, pepper, and vinegar. (upbeat jazz music) – [Narrator] Hajji's is
located in a part of New York that's made up of various kinds of people with a variety of incomes, so keeping chopped cheese at a price point everyone can afford has
been a top priority.

In fact, the chopped cheese has only gone up a dollar in the last decade. – [Narrator] That's why the chopped cheese has spread beyond Harlem and
into bodegas far and wide, attracting loyal New Yorkers
everywhere it appears. But in the end, it all comes
back to Hajji's and Salah. (mellow rock music) (contemplative synth music).

As found on YouTube

The Real New Yorker’s Sandwich

Forget your street cart hot dogs and deli pastrami, the *real* New Yorker’s sandwich is the chopped cheese, a beautiful conglomeration of chopped ground beef, melted cheese and secret seasoning, all served on a hero or a roll. The birthplace of the chopped cheese is Hajji’s Deli in Harlem, where Salah has been managing the joint for the past 15 years. Inspired by an Arabic dish, the chopped cheese has now become a New York staple, with fans in everyone from Jay-Z to Cam’ron.

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This story is a part of our Flavors series, where we do so much more than play with our food. Come with us as we dive into deliciously different and tastefully off-beat stories in the culinary world.

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