Attendees at the Philadelphia meeting have of course delighted in partaking of the cultural riches of the city. But they have also been occupied in sampling the taste of Philadelphia. A New York food critic once wrote that there were four worthwhile types of cuisine: French, Italian, Chinese and Philadelphian. Conference delegates have often gone in search of a real Philadelphia hoagie (forget about Subway; there’s no comparison with a Philly sandwich, from its roll to its oil to its salami). And those brave culinary adventurers have even imbibed that most famous of Philadelphia creations, the Philly cheesesteak. Replete with fried onions, frightening fat and future strokes, the cheesesteak is a Philadelphia institution, from the famous scene in Rocky to the fact that even the finest Philly hotels include the delicacy on their menus.
Such is the popularity of this fare that it has been replicated everywhere. But, as with a genuine museum artifact, there is nothing like the real thing.—Dewey Blanton, AAM media relations