Buffalo is famous for all sorts of food, condiments and drinks, treasured by Buffalonians and sought by visitors to the historic city. Among the most popular is the delicious beef on weck, and enjoying the sandwich is all the more enhanced when finished with a well-selected cigar.
Beef on weck is a simple concoction, consisting of choice roast beef stacked high on a pretzel salt and caraway seed bun called a kummelweck. The beef is liberally doused with beef juice and smeared with horseradish - just enough to clear the nostrils and water the eyes. All together, the sandwich is incredibly good, and a frequent meal served with Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabers games.
The sandwich is reputed to have started in downtown Buffalo at the turn of the century when the city hosted the Pan American Exposition in 1901. A local hotel owner wanted to provide food to the attendees of the Exposition, and his German cook made roast beef sandwiches, but added his native salt and caraway seed kummelweck bun to the recipe, and a legend was born. Today, the beef on weck, as it is more popularly known by Buffalo natives, is more popular than ever, and becomes a pleasant culinary treat to outsiders who first learn of the sandwich when visiting the city.
While the sandwich is a simple affair, the robust flavors require a cigar to match without overpowering the palate. With maduro cigars being at the more domineering end of the cigar flavor spectrum, and a light Connecticut shade wrapper cigar at the other, a smoke that walks the path in between would be a good match.
The Romeo Y Julieta Anniversario cigar, available at the Virgil Avenue Tobacconist, is an excellent choice. While it is one of the more powerful cigars offered by Romeo Y Julieta, it is uniquely smooth and the strength of the Peruvian, Dominican, and Nicaraguan fillers is mitigated by the Cennecticut shade binder. The wrapper is a leathery-smooth Ecuadorian-Sumatran leaf which adds yet another facet to the complexity of the cigar. Chocolate and spices come through in the smoke and make for an excellent finish to the beef on weck
Cigar and food pairings are a subjective experience and part of the fun is finding the right cigar for the individual. The beef on weck sandwich is a tasty part of Buffalo tradition and sampling cigars available at local vendors will make for many enjoyable events.