When visiting your favorite Lowell sub shop, there are staple options you expect to find. From the classic chicken finger to the veggie, the meatball to the Italian – the choice is yours. However, depending on the sub shop you visit, you may find variations. Of course, at Rizzo’s Roast Beef & PIzza, we love adding our creative flair to all of our dishes! But we’re not talking about us today.
No. Instead, we’re talking about the infamous Italian sub, the variations, and pieces we just can’t get enough of.
First, let’s talk beginnings
Originally called the ‘grinder,’ the name change comes with a story. Well, the story of Benedetto Capaldo does anyway. As an Italian shopkeeper, Capaldo had a knack for making large sandwiches. Once the nearby sub yard started ordering nearly 500 sandwiches a day to feed the workers, the name inevitably changed to the submarine sandwich.
Sure, there are many other stories about where the Italian sub first came from, but this one is one of our favorites.
Is the Italian sub really Italian?
Like many American-Italian foods, what we believe to be cultural is, in fact, far from. The Italian sub is no exception. An Italian sandwich, sub, hoagie, or whichever term you prefer, is nothing more than an American-made sandwich inspired by Italian meats. If traveling to Italy, you will never find this option on a menu. That’s not to say it can’t be made, just that an Italian sub is really not truly Italian.
However, when it comes to an exceptional Italian sub, the culture has a lot to do with crafting a good sandwich. In Italy, cooking is about a balance of flavor.
Bread, but not too much bread. Fresh Italian deli meats selected with the proper balancing of flavors – maybe a little more of one meat and a little less of another, cheese, dressing, and toppings are the same. Let’s face it; we’ve all had a good Italian sub, and we’ve all had a horrible one. What was the difference between the two?
The balance of flavors.
Hot or cold?
While sub shop owners understand that creating repeat customers means crafting a mouth-watering sandwich full of balanced flavor, there is more to it. For instance, many Lowell sub shops offer the traditional cold cut Italian, but many more take things up a notch with a hot Italian. Which is better? Who are we to say, at Rizzo’s, though, we like the good ole’ fashioned cold Italian cuts topped with our favorites and served on freshly baked bread.