MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Just hours after being unveiled, a new State Fair sandwich has been renamed following accusations the original title was anti-Semitic.
The now-rebranded sandwich was called the Swindler, a cream cheese, cucumber and salmon creation from a new vendor, The Hideaway Speakeasy. The sandwich was announced Tuesday morning along with 30 other new fairground eats, and criticism quickly followed.
The website TCJewFolk.com said the Jewish-themed sandwich carried an anti-Semitic name. On social media, others agreed.
Hard to think of a more anti-Semitic name for a smoked salmon, capers, and cream cheese sandwich than THE SWINDLER: https://t.co/aoLB0xEi7E
— Bradford Pearson (@BradfordPearson) June 20, 2017
— DeRusha Eats (@DeRushaEats) June 20, 2017
Quickly, the State Fair’s marketing department responded, saying that the sandwich’s name was never meant to be offensive, adding that neither the fair nor the vendor realized there was a negative connotation to the name.
“Please know that, while regrettable, this mistake was completely unintended, and we are feverishly working with the vendor to rectify the issue,” fair officials said.
They added that the sandwich’s new name will be the Swing Dancer Sandwich, keeping with The Hideaway Speakeasy’s St. Paul gangster-era vibe.
Read the State Fair’s full statement statement on the Swindler below:
We regret that the name of the Swindler Sandwich has been negatively received. It was never the intention of the vendor or the State Fair to be offensive. Before we continue on, we want to let you know that the vendor’s response was immediate, and they have renamed the item to the Swing Dancer Sandwich. We are currently making this change to all of our materials; this is a top priority, and we are working as quickly as we can.
All of the menu items named by the vendor, The Hideaway Speakeasy, were arbitrarily assigned as part of the branding of this new eating establishment in the new Veranda area of the upper level of the Grandstand.
The theme of the new Hideaway Speakeasy is the Roaring ’20s, a jumping joint reminiscent of St. Paul’s gangster era. Other Hideaway items on the New Foods list include Mobster’s Caviar and the Fall Guy Breakfast Panini. The proposed full menu currently includes items with names such as the Bootlegger and Gambler sandwiches and the Boss Man Panini.
We deeply apologize that we and the vendor didn’t realize the negative connotation of the sandwich name. Please know that, while regrettable, this mistake was completely unintended, and we are feverishly working with the vendor to rectify the issue.