“Sangwich” Saturday

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Growing up in East Boston I remember everyone calling sandwiches “sangwiches”. Of course I never paid much attention to it. It was just the way we spoke.

Recently I thought of the origins of the word “sangwich”. It happened when my Uncle Domenic asked me if I would be coming over for “i sangwiche” phonetically pronounced “saaaahhhngwiche” An Italo-American word made up by Italians who combined Italian and English to make up such words as:

“Carro” – Car
“Begga” – Bag
“Sangwich” – Sandwich

Our generation had taken the word and pronounced “saaangwich” instead of sandwich. We took the made up term and made it even more english. You would hear it in all heavily Italian neighborhoods.

So, “sangwich Saturday” is becoming a new tradition in my family. Something I look forward to when all the cousins are together eating Italian subs made by Uncle Domenic.

I haven’t mentioned yet that my father and Uncle Domenic owned an Italian market in East Boston for over 30 years. They truly made the best Italian subs in all of Boston; using only imported cold cuts – mortadella, hot capicolla, sopresetta, provolone and prosciutto. The bread is also important if not the most important element of a really good “sangwich”.

Back in the day my father and uncle got their bread from DeStefano’s bakery on Bennington Street, East Boston. DeStefano’s is no longer there but Bart the baker is around and still baking some of the best bread in Boston at Boschetto’s in the North End.

Tomorrow is “Sangwich” Saturday. There’s nothing better than a good “sangwich” on a lazy Saturday with the cousins. We get older and time moves quicker, so we think. The excuses of not getting together is just that; excuses. All it takes is some good coldcuts, great bread, some tomatoes and you’ve got yourself a feast surrounded by great company.

What are your traditions?


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12 thoughts on ““Sangwich” Saturday

  1. Filottete Manfredi May 4, 2012 at 9:48 am Reply

    You make me hungry all the time.. But is Domenico -that you mentioned- a funny Calabrese landscaper?

    • Everyone Wants to Be Italian May 4, 2012 at 9:50 am Reply

      Are you from Boston? Because if we are thinking of the same person. I know a “Domenic Landscaper” from Arlington???
      PS. Thanks for reading my blog!

      • Filottete Manfredi May 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm

        Yes, I come from Boston. Didn’t you recognize me? I’m Emanuele C.

  2. Filottete Manfredi May 4, 2012 at 9:49 am Reply

    You make me hungry. But is Domenico a funny calabrese landscaper?

  3. Nicola Orichuia May 4, 2012 at 11:55 am Reply

    Those “sangwiches” are humongous! …and so delicious-looking.

  4. N- Big May 4, 2012 at 1:11 pm Reply


  5. Everyone Wants to Be Italian May 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm Reply

    Yes I did, after I wrote back! Thanks for reading!

  6. Muffintopmommy May 5, 2012 at 10:59 pm Reply

    I just had to call my Italian hubs into the room to look at the pics of the sangwiches! We are drooling. There is NO such thing as a sangwich like that in southern NH where we live now. (We might as well be 1788 miles from Boston in some ways…it’s crazy.)

    The wild thing to me is, my dad was Irish and from W. Roxbury, and he called sandwiches, “sangwiches”. I seriously thought he made it up, lol.

    Great blog! Michele McPhee posted it on FB—-that’s how I found it–so glad. Except now I’m hungry!

    • Everyone Wants to Be Italian May 6, 2012 at 9:02 am Reply

      Thanks for posting! It’s a shame you can’t get good cold cuts in New Hampshire… too funny about “sangwiches” I really wonder how that term orginated??

  7. […] getting the calls for Head Cheese for the next time I am in Brookline. In fact my Uncle who is the “Sangwich Saturday” creator put his request […]

  8. Julie Restagno Bonavita May 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm Reply

    Again..I always make fun of my husband for saying san G wich..he says that he likes it better that way SAND wich sounds too gritty….such a cute blog you have 🙂

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