The Spiedie: An Unknown Sandwich Wonder

Have you ever heard of a spiedie sandwich? No, it doesn’t have anything to do with Spider-Man. Instead, this dish is perfect for lunch or dinner and really packs the flavor.

Every city has its thing

When you think of New York, it’s common to picture food like pizza and bagels. The spiedie sandwich, however, should also be added to that list. It originated in the city of Binghamton, in the southern part of the state, although it’s more well-known in Central New York.

The name likely comes from the Italian “spiedino,” which translates to “skewer”, according to Bon Appetit. The spiedie essentially takes cubed meat prepared on a skewer, places it on a slice of Italian bread or a hoagie and removes the skewer. The marinade tastes a bit like the herbs found in Italian seasoning and while you can choose to have one type of meat on your sandwich, you can also go with four: chicken, pork, beef and lamb.

“Binghamton has held its Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally since 1983.”

A festival of its own

Starting in 1983, the city of Binghamton has held its Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally. The event enables patrons to try out a bunch of different versions of the sandwich, complete with a spiedie cook-off, various bread options, marinade choices and more. On top of that, the celebration usually features a musical guest and invites the citizens of Binghamton and more to commemorate the dish that has made their town famous.

Today, the event attracts more than 100,000 attendees on an annual basis.

A home-cooked meal

The spiedie has been a dish that families put their own spin on since it was first conceived. The creator of the sandwich has long been disputed, as both the families of Agostino “Augie” Iacovelli and Peter Sharak believe their patriarchs developed the idea – although Iacovelli began serving the spiedie as early as 1939, while Sharak began in 1947.

As the years passed and the sandwich became increasingly popular, families around Binghamton and the state of New York put their own touch on the spiedie. Venison became an alternative for lamb in this dish and people made their own marinades.

How to make a spiedie

Culinary arts students can make a sandwich in this style that is completely their own. They first have to make a few decisions:

  • What kind of bread will you use?
  • What type of meat will you cook?
  • What ingredients will you add to your marinade?

Once these choices are complete, chefs need to be sure to marinate their meat for at least 24 hours – unless chicken is the heart of your spiedie, according to The New York Times. Add the cubed meat to skewers and cook on the grill for three to four minutes on each side. You want the meat to be crispy on the outside, but completely done and flavorful on the inside.

Let the meat cool before placing in your bread or roll of choice and removing the skewer. Although the original spiedie is served as just meat and bread, feel free to add some fresh vegetables to the top and serve with hot sauce if you wish.

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