Yippee for local food!!!
I'm hosting a new event called Homegrown Gourmet that celebrates local food traditions and creativity in using native ingredients in recipes. I chose Sandwiches as the first topic for cooking. I chose this and then realized I had no ideas for my own Maine!
There of course was the option of lobster rolls- yawn. There are also these disturbing bright red hot dogs, but I wasn't about to stuff my own scarlet sausages! After doing a little research, I found that Maine has its own original Italian sub that came about in the early 1900's. Some Italian guy named Amato worked down by the docks at the water and sold bread to the workers. The dock workers requested something with a little more substance like meat, cheese, and veggies. And so the sandwich was born! Amato's is now a local chain that specializes in the yummy lunchtime meal. (Confession- I've never been to Amato's as it looks cheesy to me and before this event I thought their claims to "real Maine Italians" sounded like a cornball slogan.)
So what makes this different than your hoagie, submarine, grinder, or other similar meat n' cheese in bread deal? Well, there are no condiments besides olive oil, it includes sour pickles and Greek olives, and there is no lettuce. The meat and cheese are minimal too- it's really all about the veggies. You can read more about them at MaineToday.com.
I don't like pickles and I've never put salt or pepper on a sandwich, but hubby and I ate ours just like the original recipe. It was really really tasty! The homemade bread was perfect and all the flavors went really well together. So without further ado, the real Maine Italian!!
Real Maine Italian Sandwich
- Soft White Sandwich Roll
- Boiled Ham
- American Cheese
- Onions, chopped
- Green Peppers, chopped
- Tomato, chopped
- Kalmata Olives, chopped
- Sour Pickles, chopped
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Slice your roll vertically along the top.
- Lay the cheese and ham along the sides of the bread. (This keeps the oil from completely soaking in!)
- Pile on the veggies in the middle. Drizzle some olive oil and shake on salt and pepper. Enjoy!