The Italian Sandwich: A dying art

Before I dive into this let me first say that if you go to Italy looking for a sandwich all you are going to find is 1 meat, or 1 meat and 1 cheese on focaccia or some other yummy bread. THAT’S IT! Condiments? HA! More than 1 meat?! HA! HA! That is just crazy talk.

“So Slim, how is that a dying art?”

My apologies let me correct myself. I meant the Italian American Sandwich.

“Oh, like the Italian BMT from Subway?”

No… those are pretend sandwiches with bread that they make in an easy bake oven behind the counter.

Allow me to paint you a picture. Italian Americans love their sandwiches. Foot long? HA! We take an entire loaf of Italian bread, slice it down the middle, open it up and pile it high with leftovers from the night before. Everything HOME COOKED. No pre-sliced, pre-packaged, chemical filled, preservative, rainbow-colored cold cuts. I am talking meatballs, eggplant, sardines, every cheese you can think of, zucchini, steak, cutlets, prosciutto, Genoa salami, mortadella the size of your face, fresh mozzarella, basil, tomatoes… I can go on and on, but I have to stop. I am making myself hungry and I just finished eating!

So, how is this an art and why is it dying?

  1. I swear some of the sandwiches I have eaten belong in the Italian Museum of Food. I don’t know, is that a thing? It should be. Everyone would get fat just looking at the art and the food court in that place would be a gold mine.
  2. People these days are too bothered to cook themselves a meal at home. The best part of cooking at home is the leftovers! Come ON!!! Pick up a pan.
  3. Everyone wants stuff fast. Cold cuts are meant to be sliced when you get them… not waiting in a sealed package counting down to some expiration date 8 months from now. No one takes the time to build a proper sandwich.
  4. Everyone takes mom and grandma’s food for granted.

I am just yapping on now. This writing is making me HANGRY!

All of that said… why all this nonsense about sandwiches? Let me tell you why. NYC is full of food trucks. You can trip and find yourself in front of a food truck… if you didn’t you tripped wrong…practice. One of my favorite food trucks is Diso’s Italian Sandwich Society.

The first time I tried it I had to walk 15 minutes just to get to where they were parked. My buddy couldn’t stop talking about how great they were. Of course the day I go to try it the line was insane. 45 minutes I waited… 45 MINUTES! I was so pissed off that I really wanted to hate the sandwich… but then I took my first bite… and I didn’t even care that it took me all of my lunch break just to get my food.

Fast forward to last week. I heard they were posted up close to my job, so of course I had to get my fix. I scoped out the menu before going. It is a long menu. If you have problems choosing what to eat just digest the menu a couple of days before you go. I thought I knew what I wanted until I showed up and saw the special of the day.

So what did I have?

The Fonz

Chicken Cutlet, Mozzarella (which I swapped for smoked mozzarella… what?! YES!), Prosciutto, Hot Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula, Parmigiano Reggiano, Herbed Ricotta Spread, and Glazed Balsamic Dressing. As if that wasn’t enough I had them also add Eggplant… ADD THE EGGPLANT!

DisosIs your mouth-watering? I am looking at a picture of this thing on my phone and I am about to bite my phone… as I sometimes do when looking at pictures of amazing food. I thought I was only going to eat half and save the other half for later in the day, but my hands refused to leave the second half alone and my mouth finished off the job.

Disos Sammie

It was like something my grandmother or mother would have made for me.

If you have the chance to try this sandwich, jump at the opportunity. Am I over hyping this? I doubt it. I am Italian and I know my sandwiches. If you try it and don’t like it have your taste buds checked or go back to eating Subway sandwiches.

Keep the Italian Sandwich Alive!


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