If you haven’t noshed your way across Western New York, you may be missing out on one of the nation’s tastiest sandwiches—beef on weck.
The French-dip-like sandwich from Buffalo, New York, originated in 1901, thanks to a local tavern’s German cook who added some of his culinary heritage to his boss’s request put a roast beef sandwich on the menu. The story goes that when the cook crafted the soft rolls for the sandwich, he sprinkled them with caraway seeds and coarse salt—just like they did in Germany to make kummelweck rolls–and served it with “jus” dipping sauce (the meat’s natural juices).
Beyond the addition of deliciously intense freshly grated horseradish and the requisite thin-slices of beef, it’s the Kaiser roll dotted with kosher salt and caraway seeds that makes the sandwich unique—and impossible to find outside of the region because the rolls simply are not produced elsewhere.
Scarcity might explain why food lovers around the country turn to Anderson’s Frozen Custard, a Buffalo, New York, beef on weck and frozen custard institution, to satisfy their cravings. They ship everything you need to build the ultimate sandwich at home, including the high-quality all-natural hormone-free roast beef cooked daily and those illusive kimmelweck rolls that keep diners making special treks to Anderson’s.
However, should you want to replicate the kimmelweck at home, we’ve got a tip for you: Buy some Kaiser rolls, brush their tops with an egg white wash, sprinkle with kosher salt and caraway seeds, toast under the broiler for a minute or two, and you’re as close as you’re going to get without visiting Buffalo or ordering from Anderson’s.