Home » National Italian Beef Day
May 27th is National Italian Beef Day! 🇮🇹 To celebrate, I picked up some juicy Italian Beef sandwiches topped with hot giardiniera (with a side of garlic parmesan fries 🍟) from WiseGuys – A Chicago Eatery. WiseGuys is a local spot serving up Chicago-style food to us folks in ATX and San Antonio. I’m so glad they could bring those Chicago flavors to Central Texas! 😋
This food holiday was established in 2017 by Buona, a restaurant chain specializing in Italian Beef sandwiches. Buona claims to be the home of “The Original Italian Beef,” but there’s plenty of debate about the origins of this sandwich!
Who invented the Italian Beef sandwich?
Some people say the sandwich can be traced back to 1938 to a man named Al Ferrari—the founder of Al’s #1Italian Beef. Apparently, Al “needed a way to stretch a roast to be able to serve 150 at weddings.” So he sliced the beef thinly, dipped it in its juices, and served it in sandwiches. (Read more from Thrillist here.)
Another story says that sandwich was invented by a mystery chef who thought French dip sandwiches were bland, so he jazzed it up with Italian spices. I guess I could kinda see this because the sandwich seems very closely related to the French dip.
And there’s even another story that attributes the Italian Beef sandwich to Pat Scala, whose grandfather founded Scala Packing Company, which sold beef. It’s said that Pat, like Al, was trying to figure out an economical way to serve beef to large parties—so he also took the approach of making sandwiches with thin slices of beef dipped in its juices.
How interesting, right?! 😲 I think one thing people can agree on is that the Italian Beef sandwich is delicious.
For the Chicagoans out there, what’s the best way to eat Italian Beef? Dry or dipped or double dipped? Sweet, spicy, cheesy? Also, who do YOU think created the Italian Beef sandwich? Let’s debate!
Happy National Italian Beef Day, everyone!
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Foodie 🍽 and art enthusiast 👩🏻🎨 with an incurable case of wanderlust ✈️. Founder of Yumday. 😋🥳 Following my curiosity—wherever it leads! ✨