Searching for a Mother-in-Law Sandwich

Eager enthusiasts track Chicago’s indigenous—and sometimes endangered—food traditions

The Humdinger sandwich is a mother-in-law with melted cheese on top. (Peter Pawinski)

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Chicagoans don't even agree that it should be served on a bun at all. Some prefer their mother-in-law served up in a cardboard French-fries boat. "Sometimes they're called a tamale boat or a tamale sundae," Engler says. Then there's the humdinger, which is a mother-in-law with melted cheese on top, and the Mighty Dog, which he describes as "a chili-and-cheese-covered hot dog cradled in a split tamale, all nestled in a poppy seed bun."

I don't know about you, but I'm starting to understand the part about heartburn.


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