It is always funny when someone from out of state comes to Maine, and is perplexed by the way we do certain things here.

I think we have all done this. I remember when I was in Minnesota, and everyone there called a carbonated beverage “pop” which we of course know as "soda."

When it comes to sandwiches, things aren’t exactly the same either. Grinders, wedges, hoagies, heroes, and blimpies are all used to describe what we call "Italian sandwiches."

Maine's Italian sandwich, sometimes referred to as the Maine Italian sandwich, is prepared on a long bread roll or bun with meats, cheese and various vegetables.

The Maine Italian sandwich was supposedly invented in Portland, Maine, by Giovanni Amato, who was a grocer, who later opened the popular Amato’s chain.

On Maine Reddit, a tourist who was here visiting was a little confused about why we eat them vertically.

Naturally, there were plenty of explanations and comments after he posed his question:

“Hey why do you guys cut Italian sandwiches vertically like a hot dog bun?”

I'm on my fourth day of a Maine vacation and I'm honestly baffled by this phenomenon. There has to be a reason, right? Is it because that makes it more similar to a lobster roll and you guys love lobster rolls? Is it just tradition and no one knows why? I was at a store in Camden, and they had regular sandwiches with regular bread, so they clearly know about the regular way to make a sandwich. So help me out here. What gives?

·So that way all your stuffing doesn't fall out the sides when you eating it.

I like the cut of your jib. Us Mainer’s are pretty protective of the ole Italian. Ham, cheese, pickles, tomatoes, green, peppers, onions and black or Greek olives, salt pepper and oil. The cut is mostly because of the absolute dump truck of ingredients you get in there. Helps hold it all in. It’s like stuffing a bread trench with amazing. Now you can have a wicked good one here or you can have a wicked piss poor one. You want a damn good one filled to the absolute Jesus top, you got to the bowdoinham general store, Detroit general store, dixmont general was amazing when it was there, amatos does a pretty good job or SAMS. You want a shit one and I’ll admit they used to be awesome, go to the whistle stop in Baldwin. BUT, when that one sucks you head right over to Sebago and go to Jordan’s. They make a killer Italian. Thanks for visiting and asking a decent question. Enjoy a good Maine Italian and just go with it’s over stuffed awesomeness.

just turn it sideways and now it's horizontal

You just answered your own question. It is to HOLD the ingredients. Have you ever had a taco??

Think of a hot dog inside a bun. You squeeze the bun on both sides to eat it, right? So you get the hot dog and whatever condiments and toppings you have.

Now look at an Italian. More stuff inside, but you gotta squeeze it to eat it, and that way, all the ingredients go in your mouth. I think it's all about dexterity.
Are there not Subways where you are from? They do it this way too. I didn't realize it was a Maine specific thing. Also saw a thread the other day about our 'Italian' sandwiches being a bit different than others elsewhere and was kind of shocked. Am I sheltered? Should I seek time away from home? Or am I just lucky enough to be from such a unique and beautiful place!?

Subway does something similar, but they cut the bun horizontally almost all the way through and then fold it back over after assembly. The Maine Italian sandwiches I've seen are cut vertically, like they just put the roll on the table and cut down. That's wild. I don't think people do that in other places. I have had a lot of sandwiches before and I don't think I've ever seen it.

That way there is an even distribution of ingredients per bite.

Because it’s better. And it’s how real rolls are cut.

It's just another way to put it together, akin to a meatball sub/lobster roll/etc. I don't think there was any particular thing that influenced it that way?

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