Food

The Spiedie Is A Perfect And Important Sandwich

It is high time this nation recognized Binghamton, New York’s beloved culinary mascot as the God-Level Foodstuff that it truly is.

For those who have never known the joy of eating it, a spiedie (pronounced SPEE-dee) = white bread + chunks of marinated, cooked meat.

nomwars / instagram.com

The bread or roll must be white/Italian bread and the meat must be chicken, lamb, or pork. NOTHING ELSE.

1. That’s right, son: Pure, unadulterated carbs and meat.

No fucking around with other things. Good on good.

2. The spiedie rose to power near Binghamton, New York, in the 1940s, but its exact origins are hotly debated and shrouded in mystery.

Wikipedia’s version of events:

“Camillo Iacovelli created the spiedie in Endwell, N.Y., but his brother Augustino and Peter Sharak popularized spiedies, Augie in his Endicott, N.Y., restaurant, and Sharky’s in Binghamton, N.Y.

Augie began serving spiedie sandwiches in 1939 when he opened Augie’s, his first restaurant. He emigrated from Abruzzo, Italy (Civitella Casanova) at the age of 25 in 1923. His son Guido continued in the spiedie business into the 1990s, owning as many as 26 restaurants at the peak of his career.

Sharak is also supposed to have invented spiedies. Apparently, patrons of Sharkey’s Bar and Grill were served lamb straight from the grill on its metal skewer with slices of bread. At the original Sharkey’s on Glenwood Avenue the spiedies are preceded, accompanied, and followed by copious amounts of beer. Sharkey’s promotes itself as the birthplace of the sandwich in television commercials across the greater Binghamton area.

Though the issue is disputed, Sharkey’s began serving spiedies in 1947, which makes Iacovelli more likely to have invented the dish first.”

4. The basic elements, however, have always been the same.

d_benjamin14 / instagram.com

5. First, you soak cubes of meat in a marinade.

James Whatley / Flickr: whatleydude

6. Everyone has their own unique recipe.

dorkinajeep / instagram.com

Some spiedie joints sell it bottled for home use (in order to achieve 24/7 spiedie access).

7. After that, you grill the meat.

Doug Kerr / Flickr: dougtone

8. Or pan-fry it.

ktkitkat91 / instagram.com

9. Until it’s juicy and hot and beautiful.

Breville USA / Flickr: breville

10. And then you either serve the meat on skewers, with bread to fold around it…

Pork skewers at Sharkey’s.

11. …or tuck it into a nice, cozy sandwich roll.

Chicken spiedie at Spiedie and Rib Pit.

12. No matter what you put on it, you can’t mess up a spiedie’s deliciousness.

Food Truck App / Flickr: foodtruckapp

A Buffalo chicken spiedie from the Bada Bing food truck in Washington, D.C.

13. Unless you put cheese on it. Cheese is for amateurs.

We all love cheese, but it has no place on a spiedie. You would, Brooklyn.

14. But spiedies aren’t just a kind of sandwich; they are a deep, meaningful Regional Institution.

Former Village Voice food critic Tejal Rao went on a spiedie road trip through Binghamton and Endicott, New York, this spring; go and experience her glorious journey vicariously.

15. Spiedie rivalries are truly serious business.

 

Sharkey’s vs. Lupo’s is Binghamton’s equivalent of Capulets and Montagues; both claim ownership of the ORIGINAL spiedie, and neither side will ever admit defeat.

16. Each spiedie enthusiast is loyal to his or her own personal favorite spiedie source.

Dina-Roberts Wakulczyk / Flickr: littlesister

Vestal’s finest.

17. Spiedies are an appropriate food for any and all situations. Baseball games, for example.

Yes, that is a mascot race between a giant spiedie and a bottle of marinade.

18. There is (for good reason) an annual festival in Binghamton to celebrate the spiedie: The Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally.

Doug Kerr / Flickr: dougtone

What do balloons have to do with marinated meat, you may ask? Um, what DON’T they have to do with it!

19. Every year, a variety of exciting musical guests performs.

Doug Kerr / Flickr: dougtone

Check out more highlights of Spiedie Fest 2009!

20. No other sandwich on earth inspires this kind of devotion.

21. President Obama gets it.

Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty Images

Speaking at Binghamton University: “I decided to stop here for a couple of reasons. Number one, I’ve been told that it’s very important for me to get a spiedie while I’m here.”

22. So isn’t it time everyone acknowledged the truth?

ALL HAIL SPIEDIE, KING OF THE SANDWICHES

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