One of America’s Favorites – Italian Sandwich

February 20, 2017 at 6:26 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A close-up view of an Italian sandwich

A close-up view of an Italian sandwich

The Italian sandwich, sometimes referred to as the Maine Italian sandwich, is an American submarine sandwich in Italian-American cuisine prepared on a long bread roll or bun with meats, cheese and various vegetables. The ingredients serve to counterbalance one-another, creating an equilibrium of flavors and texture. The Italian sandwich was invented in Portland, Maine, in 1903 by Giovanni Amato, a baker. It is known as a submarine sandwich or a sub in Boston, Massachusetts, and as a spuckie in East Boston.

The Italian sandwich is prepared using a long bread roll or bun with meats such as salami, mortadella, capicolla and ham along with provolone or American cheese, tomato, onion, sour pickle, green bell pepper, black olives, olive oil or salad oil, salt and black pepper. Additional ingredients, such as pepperoni, banana pepper, lettuce and mustard, may be added, and the sandwich is often cut in half to make it easier to handle. The flavors and texture of the sandwich are counterbalanced by the ingredients used, creating an equilibrium of flavors, and the fats and acids in the ingredients also serve to counterbalance one another.



An Italian sandwich

An Italian sandwich

The Italian sandwich was invented in Portland, Maine, by baker Giovanni Amato in 1903. While selling his bread on his street cart, Amato received requests from dockworkers to slice his long bread rolls and add sliced meat, cheese and vegetables to them. Amato later opened a sandwich shop named Amato’s, and today the sandwich continues to be prepared by Amato’s sandwich shops in Portland. The Amato’s version is traditionally prepared using fresh-baked bread, ham, American cheese, slices of tomato, green pepper and sour pickle, black olives and salad oil.

The Italian sandwich is known as a submarine sandwich or a sub in Boston, Massachusetts, and in east Boston it is referred to as a spuckie, which may be named after the spuccadella, an Italian bread roll with a pointed shape. In Philadelphia and South Jersey it is known as a “hoagie” or a “grinder”. It is the first name that has given the designation to “Subway Sandwich Shops” around the world.



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