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The Sandwiches You Will Like companion book, written by Becky Mercuri (author of Food Festival U.S.A.), is available now!

With with a production diary by Rick Sebak and a foreword by Pat Bruno from the Chicago Sun Times, the book documents America's sandwich history and includes dozens of favorite recipes gathered from coast to coast -- many more sandwiches than are included in the program!

It's all here in one fantastic volume:
• The origin of the sandwich and its arrival in America
• How Americans adopted the sandwich and made it their own
• Regional favorite sandwiches and how they were created
• With recipes contributed by outstanding American chefs and food writers such as John Thorne, nationally acclaimed food writer and author of Serious Pig and Pot on the Fire (Bahn Mi); Marlene Parrish, food writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (The Original Devonshire Sandwich); Chuck Taggart, host of the popular website gumbopages.com (Creole Roast Beef Po-Boys); and Three Guys from Miami™, authors of Cuban Food with Attitude (Cuban Sandwich
Plus mail order resources, where to go for your favorite sandwich, and internet resources for great chow.

A Sample of One of the "Extra" Sandwiches

Spiedies

It's said that the spiedie, a sandwich made of meat cooked in a manner similar to shish kebab, was introduced to America by Augustine Iacovelli. In 1929, he immigrated to the Binghamton, New York, area from Civitella in Abruzzi, Italy. Ten years later, Iacovelli left his job at Endicott-Johnson, a shoe manufacturer, and struck out on his own, opening Augies restaurant in Endicott. There, he introduced the spiedie, solid working class food from his native Abruzzi, that became popular among foreign-born railroad workers and shoemakers.

The term spiedie comes from the Italian word "spiedo," meaning "spit" and/or "spiedini," meaning skewered meat. It's reported that Iacovelli's original spiedies, consisting of chunks of lamb, were impaled on wooden skewers and broiled over charcoal. Prior to cooking, and throughout the grilling process, the spiedies were sprayed with a sauce that Iacovelli called "Zuzu," consisting of wine vinegar, water, lemon juice, garlic, and mint. Cradled in a couple of slices of Italian bread, the spiedie was a satisfying meal for hungry workers.

Today, spiedies are still served throughout the Binghamton, New York, area. Indeed, the spiedie has attained a virtual cult status among locals, and so popular is the sandwich that it has spawned the annual Spiedie Fest held over a four-day period every August since 1983.

Meats used in the preparation of today's spiedies vary widely, running the gamut from lamb to chicken, beef, pork, and even wild game. And Iiacovelli's sauce has evolved into a marinade, typically based on olive oil, garlic, and vinegar along with unique combinations of herbs favored in Italian cooking, such as mint, basil, oregano, parsley, and rosemary. The marinating process, which tenderizes the meat, can take up to a week but is never less than 24 hours. The spiedies are grilled and then plopped, minus the skewer, between slices of Italian bread or into buns with a judicious splash of extra marinade.

Bottled spiedie sauce, or marinade, can be found under many labels throughout the region, and expatriates nursing a craving for spiedies have their favorite brand shipped by the case to destinations throughout the United States. Curiously, the sandwich's popularity has not spread commercially beyond the Binghamton region.

Recipe

Marinade:
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

2 1/2 pounds boneless lean pork or chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes (meat should have no fat, bone, or gristle)
8 hoagie rolls or hot dog buns
Butter or olive oil
Additional marinade (optional)

In a 13x9-inch glass baking dish, combine all marinade ingredients and mix well to combine. Add cubed meat, tossing to coat it well. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, periodically turning the meat to coat it with marinade.

Heat grill and lightly rub cooking grid with vegetable oil to keep meat from sticking. Evenly divide meat cubes and thread them on six metal skewers. Discard marinade. Grill meat over medium heat until cooked and nicely browned on all sides, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, lightly butter rolls or brush them lightly with olive oil and place them under the broiler, or face-down on the grill, just until lightly browned. Remove meat from skewers, and place it directly into heated rolls. Yield: 6 sandwiches.

Note: If desired, make additional marinade to drizzle over the spiedies; do not re-use meat marinade. Spiedies can be a bit dry without the additional sauce.

Where to Go

Sharkey's Restaurant
56 Glenwood Avenue
Binghamton, NY

Lupo's Spiedies
1001 North Street
Endicott, NY

Need a Quick Fix?

Folks born and bred in the Binghamton, New York, area but now living in other parts of the U.S., order spiedie sauce from home. Those with major withdrawal symptoms also order the "Spiedie Survival Kit." You can, too.

Check out the products at the Salamida Company web site, then phone or fax in your order.
Rob Salamida Company
71 Pratt Avenue
Johnson City, NY 13790
Telephone: (toll free) 1-800-545-5072
Fax: (607) 797-4721
Web site: Spiedie.com

Related Links

Spiedie Fest
Spiedie & Rib Pit

The Spiedie: A "Tasty Morsel


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