Friday, March 23, 2007


all photography by Wilbur M. Reeling
... also a Nautical Vessel !

OK, we're out on the boat bobbing like a cork on a fishing line and we are all greased up so now we decide that we're hungry.

Mmmmm -- What to do? There are two definite schools of thought here to quench that ravenous hunger.

One camp wants to have the food on board. And that's me. Give me a great ice cold, mouthwatering, freshly sliced cool and sweet fruit salad with lots of pineapple, summer peaches, delicious pears, apples, plenty of different sweet delicate berries and Maryland's Eastern Shore melons.

OH BOY-YEAH!! ... But NO!! they say to cold fruit & melons ... and no even to a Delmonte can-‘o-fruit!

OK, or ... maybe a big heaping 'massive pile of pasta salad' with some crisp veggies & dip or nice plump 10 count steamed jumbo shrimp with the Original Maryland Old Bay spices.

NOPE AGAIN ... now the war starts here because we all have our opinions.

When I surveyed some boaters recently, they actually agreed on something. It was the notion of there being two camps for food on a boat. Either eat in a restaurant or eat on board?

I was very surprised to find how many boaters like to have their salami and cheese already in a wrapper called a Sub Roll. About 80% of the boaters I talked to said they wanted to take cold cut Italian Subs on board with them for when the "munchies" arrive. The other guys don't want any food on their boat. ("It makes a mess and you get food crumbs" - GOD forbid!)

For the rest of us there is the fact that we may be a "sub-culture."

The rest of the country may clamor for po' boys and hoagies, grinders, heroes or torpedoes, but I know what really constitutes an awesome gigantic Maryland "Sub" sandwich, and what raises the Sub above those pretenders and what makes it of semi gastronomic nobility.

The original Italian specialty Sub combination features Genoa salami, soppressata, capicolla, prosciutto from Italy, pistachio-studded mortadella, fresh mozzarella or sharp provolone cheese, hot or sweet peppers in an olive tapenade, some olive oil vinaigrette and herbs like basil, parsley and oregano.

The sub is a sandwich of strong tasting cured Italian meats. These are layered into a forearm's length of fresh crusty bread, often with a few slices of Italian cheese and a condiment or two atop them. It is made by Italians, most often, in a family run store and is usually served wrapped-up in paper to eat outside somewhere, preferably on your boat.

It is a meal in a tubular Submarine form and has working class origins. It is said that the Italian sandwich, was first made in New York in the late 19th century, at the Petrucci's Restaurant at 488 Ninth Avenue. The Italian sandwich was mainly served to southern Italian manual laborers who wanted a taste of home — a big one.


Panini --bread - Everything begins with the bread. It should be crisp and crusty, not soft and doughy, with a pronounced yeasty flavor. The best bread to use is a good crusty Italian baguette cut in half. If the place has good bread, it's time to look closely at the cold-cut case.

Affettato -- sliced cured meats - Look for high-quality, Genoa salami, capicolla or soppressata, prosciutto di Parma, imported mortadella studded with pistachio nuts too. -- what you want in an Italian Submarine is the taste of home-cured meats.

Formaggio -- cheese - When it comes to mozzarella in subs, you should get it only as a wonderful creamy mozzarella. When it is cut into to make a sub, it's so fresh it spurts some milk. The aged Italian provolone called piccante is a fabulous cheese, but it is so sharp it should be used sparingly.

Dressings & condiments -- can make a huge difference on a sub, but they cannot redeem a bad one. Sliced summer perfectly vine-ripened tomatoes. Fresh basil, can make a sandwich into a work of art. Roasted peppers and olive tapenade can also make a fine addition and just a drizzle of olive oil vinaigrette.

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