The proprietors of the Hideaway Speakeasy, one of the Minnesota State Fair’s many temporary restaurants, got some serious blowback this week when they announced plans to serve a Jewish appetizing-themed sandwich called the Swindler. Hours after the menu for the 2017 fair made its debut, the team behind the temporary restaurant switched the name of the sandwich — which is made with smoked salmon, dill, capers, and pumpernickel bread — to the Swing Dance.
In a statement sent to local blog TCJewfolk, proprietors Jennie and Bryan Enloe explain: “It was never our intention to harm anyone... We’re a speakeasy. Picture the 1920s mob boss, gangster, roaring ’20s, flappers. All that. We’re all about fun. It was a mistake. An oversight.” A rep for the couple remarks: “We didn’t realize [the] connotation of the ingredients with the name... There was no conversation about it.”
The state fair organizers also failed to see how a Jewish-themed dish called the Swindler could be offensive to visitors, but a rep tells TCJewfolk: “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.” The name has been swapped on the official Minnesota State Fair homepage.
• Anti-Semitic MN State Fair Sandwich Name Changed [TCJewfolk]
• Minnesota State Fair Apologizes for ‘Anti-Semitic’ Sandwich [Munchies]
• Minnesota State Fair [Official]