You don’t always hear someone go crazy about school lunches. Many think of cardboard pizza cartons and lukewarm milk boxes. But for some who grew up in Kalamazoo, there is one particular lunch offering that they still look forward to as adults.
We’re talking about a Wimpy. A sloppy-like joe sandwich served by several cafeterias in the district, notably at Northeast Junior High.
The topic went recently on the always fascinating Kalamazoo Facebook group. Someone came looking for a recipe for Wimpy.
Just mentioning Wimpy is enough to bring many back to their school days:
This is my favorite !!! It’s basically a sloppy joe but better taste !!
Yup Wimpy’s every lunch
I love wimpys, they are the best
So how do you make one of these sloppy turbo charged joes? Here is the best suggestion to come to the group:
I use the better recipe book in Homemade and Garden, then add a small can of small tomatoes, chopped fresh garlic, chopped onion, a little Worcester sauce, ketchup to thicken and a little brown sugar. Very good!
Someone else in the group mentioned Pizza Buns, Probably had a similar recipe in my household that we called Benton Harbor High School Pizza Burgers. They are ground beef with spaghetti sauce, cheddar cheese, salt and sage. The topping is baked open-face into hamburger buns until hot and the cheese has melted. So good.
Some school lunches have become cultural icons for the city. Perhaps the best known is the Cheese Zombie from Yakima, Washington. Atlas Obscura describes the sandwich, created to deal with an excess of cheese:
Cheese Zombie is essentially a grilled cheese cake baked with fresh dough. Zombie makers start by placing slices of American cheese between rolled sheets of dough. Before placing the giant sandwich in the oven, they pinched the dough to seal it — no one wanted to lose any of the cheese — then set it aside with a brush of melted butter to create a soft, brown crust.
We don’t know of any restaurants in Kalamazoo that serve Wimpy, but it’s sure you’ll want to starve at some eateries for nostalgia if it pops up on someone’s menu.
Copycat receivers can give you a taste you want at home. Check them out:
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