Wisconsin Eats ‘Cannibal Sandwiches’ and I’m Uncomfortable Being Next Door
Someone needs to check on Wisconsin, I'm not sure they're OK.
There is a holiday food tradition in that state that I think could use a re-brand. It is called a "cannibal sandwich" and as off-putting as the name is, the ingredients aren't much better.
These are typically eaten around the holidays in the cheese state, and are made of a slice of rye bread, a thick spread of fresh raw beef, chopped raw onion, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Wisconsin Public Radio did a piece on this delicacy back in 2019 that gave some context to their popularity:
Cannibal sandwiches are a longtime Milwaukee tradition. Come Christmastime, Bunzel’s Meat Marlet goes through over 1,000 pounds of raw beef and about 250 pounds of raw onions, exclusively for cannibal sandwiches.
And that is just one meat market. Southeast Wisconsin is the hot spot for this sandwich, which allegedly is found all around the midwest. Other names for it are "tiger meat" and "wildcat". I've been a lot of places around the Midwest, and love a restaurant with a unique menu, but I have yet to see this being served.
Of course, this dish definitely comes with pretty big risks. Its main ingredient is raw beef. The USDA has even warned against partaking in this Sconnie tradition. If you are going to make one yourself your best bet is to grind a good quality steak, as opposed to just using packaged pre-ground beef. And of course, keeping it properly chilled and eating it the same day you initially serve it will lessen your chance of getting E. coli.
I like my meat rare, but not even warmed up is a bit of a stretch for me. I don't think this will be a holiday tradition I'll be picking up and moving to Minnesota. Wisconsin can keep this one.