You don’t have to go-to the deli to get a taste of this classic Reuben! The staple of so many deli’s across America, the Reuben sandwich is iconic for its thinly shaved corned beef, melted Swiss cheese, fresh sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing. This Dan-O’s version offers up a little heat in the thousand island dressing with the inclusion of Dan-O’s Spicy.
The Reuben sandwich has long been associated with kosher delis of New York, but it’s not actually a kosher dish due to the combination of meat and cheese. Its origins are also disputed. The first story (and the one most agree with) starts with Reuben Kulakofsky, a Lithuanian Jewish grocer, who lived in Omaha, Nebraska during the 1920s. Reuben would play a weekly poker game in the Blackstone Hotel from 1920 through 1935. Reuben would play with his friends, who dubbed themselves “the committee”, and this included the hotel’s owner Charles Schimmel.
During one such game, Reuben asked for a sandwich made of corn beef and sauerkraut. Charle’s son worked in the kitchen, and is credited with making the first Reuben for him. He added some thousand island, Swiss cheese, and stuffed it between two toasted rye bread slices. The sandwich was a hit, and eventually put it on the hotel’s lunch menu. Its fame would spread when an employee of the hotel would use the recipe to win a national sandwich contest. Omaha would later recognize March 14th as Reuben Sandwich Day.
Another story credits Reuben as Arnold Reuben, a German-Jewish man and owner of Reuben’s Deli in the big apple. In 1914, actress Annette Seelos (famous for her roles in many Charlie Chaplin films) drifted into the deli late one night. Starving, and looking for a meal, she asked Arnold to whip up a sandwich. Arnold took some ham, turkey, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing stuffed it between some rye bread. Annette loved the sandwich, and he decided to dub it the Reuben special. As you can tell, there is quite the difference between the two Reuben sandwiches.
No matter which story you choose to believe, the Reuben sandwich is popular for good reason. Do yourself a favor, and get a taste of history by whipping up this classic sandwich today!