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.
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.
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.
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
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
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
56 Glenwood Avenue
1001 North Street
a Quick Fix?
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.
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
Spiedie & Rib
Spiedie: A "Tasty Morsel