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Eat This Now: Sanpanino's Dagwood

Eat This Now: Sanpanino's Dagwood


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The Dagwood. Epic sandwich extraordinaire— Dagwood Bumstead’s fantastical comic strip sandwich. Never seen one? It’s not a unicorn, Scanwiches’ once constructed a beautiful version. Of course, there are also sanctioned Dagwood’s Sandwich Shoppes in Indiana that feature the Dagwood. And Columbus’ Ohio Deli & Restaurant has a Dagwood challenge that involves eating a 2.5lb sandwich in a half-hour.

Great food pilgrimages, no doubt. But what about an homage in a different cuisine? What about an Italian Dagwood, a Dagwoodino? Well, not long ago, one sandwich shop owner in New York, Leonardo Scarpone of Sanpanino, created just such a sandwich. But what would a New York Italian Dagwood contain?

For the uninitiated, Dagwood is the husband to Blondie in the long-running comic strip of the same name. ‘The Dagwood’ is his towering sandwich. Supposedly, Chic Young, Blondie’s creator, introduced the sandwich to the strip in 1936. It’s said to have contained: tongue, onion, mustard, sardine, beans and horseradish.

Variations followed, including one doweled with frankfurters, and there’s an official recipe with: a lobster tail, eagle talon, two-day-old fish, a pot of spaghetti, a string of sausages and a gallon of mayo. Basically, the ‘rules’ involve using the kitchen sink to create a sandwich with crazy height.

Recently, Leo gamely agreed to make his rendition. So what goes into an Italian Dagwood? Focaccia. House-made mozzarella and grilled eggplant, and a lot of other good things.

Layer One: the bottom focaccia slice is topped with lettuce and honey-glazed ham. Layer Two: a second focaccia slice is topped with arugula and mortadella.

Layer Three: the third focaccia slice is topped with house-made mozzarella and roasted peppers.

Layer Four: basil, sopressata, romaine leaf & red onions. Layer Five: Genoa salami, cucumbers, grilled eggplant and hot cherry Peppers. Layer Six: tapenade, speck and Fontina.

Top Slice: in lieu of a Dagwood’s olive, the focaccia is topped with sun-dried tomato and a basil leaf. Sanpanino’s sandwich, in all its glory was then doused with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Including a few customer interruptions, it took Leonardo about an hour to complete the sandwich. His quoted price for the sandwich? Considering all the ingredients and labor involved, $38. How does one go about eating the tallest sandwich they’ve ever been served? “Blend it,” answered Leonardo.

The Dagwood being pressed in sections into a panini. Right, the Dagwood Panini.

Before Leonardo’s suggestion could be seriously considered, he took the logical step considering his shop, turning the Dagwood into a panini. When it was finished being pressed he sliced it in half.

One half was divided between two patient regulars. The other half was still more than enough of a challenge to attempt devouring at once with single-minded purpose. Squeezing it gently but firmly, biting from top to bottom, in about three bites without swallowing accomplished one full bite of the sandwich.

Crispy bread. Warm meat. Juice from the cucumbers and peppers. Salty cheese and meat flavors. A hint of heat from the hot peppers. The sandwich was as delicious as it was preposterous (you can try it yourself if you make a request a day in advance), but finishing just half of it was tiring. No wonder Dagwood was always asleep on the couch.

Cross-section of Sanpanino’s Italian Dagwood Panini.

One full bite, top to bottom missing from the Dagwood Panini.


Dagwood sandwich

The summers of 2007 and 2008 were some of my favorite. Essentially they were the summers before I had to actually find a proper job. So these summers I was running one of my local rowing clubs as a coach. If you ever get into rowing, you discover that it is a very early morning sport, as well as a afternoon evening sport. So I had a need for a quick, cheap and filling lunch. By fluke one day walking through my local Sobeys (grocery store) bought a sandwich.

A ‘sandwich. ’ I hear you say ‘so what??’.

Well, if you’ve ever visited the UK you know that they spoiled for choice in terms of prepared sandwiches. Light years ahead of most other countries. The first ‘restaurant’ I ordered food in from the UK just specialises in ready sandwiches (hello PRET).

In Nova Scotia, if you go to a grocery store to buy a sandwich you will discover they are both barren in their selection and at an eye-watering price point. Pushing the culinary envelope they are not, just some meat (ham or beef) in an overly soft roll layered with mayo and iceberg lettuce. Unsurprisingly, there just isn’t a big culture of buying sandwiches to eat later. If you want a sandwich you make it yourself or go sit down in a restaurant.

So, that fateful day as I walked into Sobeys I discovered what would become my summer work lunch of choice. A Dagwood sandwich. Made popular by the cartoon strip Blondie, it is essentially a sandwich which aspires vertically. Layers of cheese, meat, tomatoes, lettuce and anything else you might want to add.

As luck would have it, we are having a minor heatwave here in the UK, and it seemed like an ideal time to recreate some memories of my summers of years gone past. I ventured to the deli counter, and received a bemused look from the counter attendance and my clear excitement in coldcuts. Some wafer thin smoked ham, chicken breast, roast beef, mortadella and slices of lovely nutty emmental. Plus a few sundried tomatoes to mix with a mayo.

Back home a loaf of bread was hollowed out and spread with sundried tomato mayo. Then the layers are added: cheese followed by the meats, slices of tomato and some crunchy lettuce. Finally its all topped some more mayo (now with added mustard) and the top of the loaf. In the fridge for 30min to cool the whole thing down, and it’s ready to eat.


Dagwood sandwich

The summers of 2007 and 2008 were some of my favorite. Essentially they were the summers before I had to actually find a proper job. So these summers I was running one of my local rowing clubs as a coach. If you ever get into rowing, you discover that it is a very early morning sport, as well as a afternoon evening sport. So I had a need for a quick, cheap and filling lunch. By fluke one day walking through my local Sobeys (grocery store) bought a sandwich.

A ‘sandwich. ’ I hear you say ‘so what??’.

Well, if you’ve ever visited the UK you know that they spoiled for choice in terms of prepared sandwiches. Light years ahead of most other countries. The first ‘restaurant’ I ordered food in from the UK just specialises in ready sandwiches (hello PRET).

In Nova Scotia, if you go to a grocery store to buy a sandwich you will discover they are both barren in their selection and at an eye-watering price point. Pushing the culinary envelope they are not, just some meat (ham or beef) in an overly soft roll layered with mayo and iceberg lettuce. Unsurprisingly, there just isn’t a big culture of buying sandwiches to eat later. If you want a sandwich you make it yourself or go sit down in a restaurant.

So, that fateful day as I walked into Sobeys I discovered what would become my summer work lunch of choice. A Dagwood sandwich. Made popular by the cartoon strip Blondie, it is essentially a sandwich which aspires vertically. Layers of cheese, meat, tomatoes, lettuce and anything else you might want to add.

As luck would have it, we are having a minor heatwave here in the UK, and it seemed like an ideal time to recreate some memories of my summers of years gone past. I ventured to the deli counter, and received a bemused look from the counter attendance and my clear excitement in coldcuts. Some wafer thin smoked ham, chicken breast, roast beef, mortadella and slices of lovely nutty emmental. Plus a few sundried tomatoes to mix with a mayo.

Back home a loaf of bread was hollowed out and spread with sundried tomato mayo. Then the layers are added: cheese followed by the meats, slices of tomato and some crunchy lettuce. Finally its all topped some more mayo (now with added mustard) and the top of the loaf. In the fridge for 30min to cool the whole thing down, and it’s ready to eat.


Dagwood sandwich

The summers of 2007 and 2008 were some of my favorite. Essentially they were the summers before I had to actually find a proper job. So these summers I was running one of my local rowing clubs as a coach. If you ever get into rowing, you discover that it is a very early morning sport, as well as a afternoon evening sport. So I had a need for a quick, cheap and filling lunch. By fluke one day walking through my local Sobeys (grocery store) bought a sandwich.

A ‘sandwich. ’ I hear you say ‘so what??’.

Well, if you’ve ever visited the UK you know that they spoiled for choice in terms of prepared sandwiches. Light years ahead of most other countries. The first ‘restaurant’ I ordered food in from the UK just specialises in ready sandwiches (hello PRET).

In Nova Scotia, if you go to a grocery store to buy a sandwich you will discover they are both barren in their selection and at an eye-watering price point. Pushing the culinary envelope they are not, just some meat (ham or beef) in an overly soft roll layered with mayo and iceberg lettuce. Unsurprisingly, there just isn’t a big culture of buying sandwiches to eat later. If you want a sandwich you make it yourself or go sit down in a restaurant.

So, that fateful day as I walked into Sobeys I discovered what would become my summer work lunch of choice. A Dagwood sandwich. Made popular by the cartoon strip Blondie, it is essentially a sandwich which aspires vertically. Layers of cheese, meat, tomatoes, lettuce and anything else you might want to add.

As luck would have it, we are having a minor heatwave here in the UK, and it seemed like an ideal time to recreate some memories of my summers of years gone past. I ventured to the deli counter, and received a bemused look from the counter attendance and my clear excitement in coldcuts. Some wafer thin smoked ham, chicken breast, roast beef, mortadella and slices of lovely nutty emmental. Plus a few sundried tomatoes to mix with a mayo.

Back home a loaf of bread was hollowed out and spread with sundried tomato mayo. Then the layers are added: cheese followed by the meats, slices of tomato and some crunchy lettuce. Finally its all topped some more mayo (now with added mustard) and the top of the loaf. In the fridge for 30min to cool the whole thing down, and it’s ready to eat.


Dagwood sandwich

The summers of 2007 and 2008 were some of my favorite. Essentially they were the summers before I had to actually find a proper job. So these summers I was running one of my local rowing clubs as a coach. If you ever get into rowing, you discover that it is a very early morning sport, as well as a afternoon evening sport. So I had a need for a quick, cheap and filling lunch. By fluke one day walking through my local Sobeys (grocery store) bought a sandwich.

A ‘sandwich. ’ I hear you say ‘so what??’.

Well, if you’ve ever visited the UK you know that they spoiled for choice in terms of prepared sandwiches. Light years ahead of most other countries. The first ‘restaurant’ I ordered food in from the UK just specialises in ready sandwiches (hello PRET).

In Nova Scotia, if you go to a grocery store to buy a sandwich you will discover they are both barren in their selection and at an eye-watering price point. Pushing the culinary envelope they are not, just some meat (ham or beef) in an overly soft roll layered with mayo and iceberg lettuce. Unsurprisingly, there just isn’t a big culture of buying sandwiches to eat later. If you want a sandwich you make it yourself or go sit down in a restaurant.

So, that fateful day as I walked into Sobeys I discovered what would become my summer work lunch of choice. A Dagwood sandwich. Made popular by the cartoon strip Blondie, it is essentially a sandwich which aspires vertically. Layers of cheese, meat, tomatoes, lettuce and anything else you might want to add.

As luck would have it, we are having a minor heatwave here in the UK, and it seemed like an ideal time to recreate some memories of my summers of years gone past. I ventured to the deli counter, and received a bemused look from the counter attendance and my clear excitement in coldcuts. Some wafer thin smoked ham, chicken breast, roast beef, mortadella and slices of lovely nutty emmental. Plus a few sundried tomatoes to mix with a mayo.

Back home a loaf of bread was hollowed out and spread with sundried tomato mayo. Then the layers are added: cheese followed by the meats, slices of tomato and some crunchy lettuce. Finally its all topped some more mayo (now with added mustard) and the top of the loaf. In the fridge for 30min to cool the whole thing down, and it’s ready to eat.


Dagwood sandwich

The summers of 2007 and 2008 were some of my favorite. Essentially they were the summers before I had to actually find a proper job. So these summers I was running one of my local rowing clubs as a coach. If you ever get into rowing, you discover that it is a very early morning sport, as well as a afternoon evening sport. So I had a need for a quick, cheap and filling lunch. By fluke one day walking through my local Sobeys (grocery store) bought a sandwich.

A ‘sandwich. ’ I hear you say ‘so what??’.

Well, if you’ve ever visited the UK you know that they spoiled for choice in terms of prepared sandwiches. Light years ahead of most other countries. The first ‘restaurant’ I ordered food in from the UK just specialises in ready sandwiches (hello PRET).

In Nova Scotia, if you go to a grocery store to buy a sandwich you will discover they are both barren in their selection and at an eye-watering price point. Pushing the culinary envelope they are not, just some meat (ham or beef) in an overly soft roll layered with mayo and iceberg lettuce. Unsurprisingly, there just isn’t a big culture of buying sandwiches to eat later. If you want a sandwich you make it yourself or go sit down in a restaurant.

So, that fateful day as I walked into Sobeys I discovered what would become my summer work lunch of choice. A Dagwood sandwich. Made popular by the cartoon strip Blondie, it is essentially a sandwich which aspires vertically. Layers of cheese, meat, tomatoes, lettuce and anything else you might want to add.

As luck would have it, we are having a minor heatwave here in the UK, and it seemed like an ideal time to recreate some memories of my summers of years gone past. I ventured to the deli counter, and received a bemused look from the counter attendance and my clear excitement in coldcuts. Some wafer thin smoked ham, chicken breast, roast beef, mortadella and slices of lovely nutty emmental. Plus a few sundried tomatoes to mix with a mayo.

Back home a loaf of bread was hollowed out and spread with sundried tomato mayo. Then the layers are added: cheese followed by the meats, slices of tomato and some crunchy lettuce. Finally its all topped some more mayo (now with added mustard) and the top of the loaf. In the fridge for 30min to cool the whole thing down, and it’s ready to eat.


Dagwood sandwich

The summers of 2007 and 2008 were some of my favorite. Essentially they were the summers before I had to actually find a proper job. So these summers I was running one of my local rowing clubs as a coach. If you ever get into rowing, you discover that it is a very early morning sport, as well as a afternoon evening sport. So I had a need for a quick, cheap and filling lunch. By fluke one day walking through my local Sobeys (grocery store) bought a sandwich.

A ‘sandwich. ’ I hear you say ‘so what??’.

Well, if you’ve ever visited the UK you know that they spoiled for choice in terms of prepared sandwiches. Light years ahead of most other countries. The first ‘restaurant’ I ordered food in from the UK just specialises in ready sandwiches (hello PRET).

In Nova Scotia, if you go to a grocery store to buy a sandwich you will discover they are both barren in their selection and at an eye-watering price point. Pushing the culinary envelope they are not, just some meat (ham or beef) in an overly soft roll layered with mayo and iceberg lettuce. Unsurprisingly, there just isn’t a big culture of buying sandwiches to eat later. If you want a sandwich you make it yourself or go sit down in a restaurant.

So, that fateful day as I walked into Sobeys I discovered what would become my summer work lunch of choice. A Dagwood sandwich. Made popular by the cartoon strip Blondie, it is essentially a sandwich which aspires vertically. Layers of cheese, meat, tomatoes, lettuce and anything else you might want to add.

As luck would have it, we are having a minor heatwave here in the UK, and it seemed like an ideal time to recreate some memories of my summers of years gone past. I ventured to the deli counter, and received a bemused look from the counter attendance and my clear excitement in coldcuts. Some wafer thin smoked ham, chicken breast, roast beef, mortadella and slices of lovely nutty emmental. Plus a few sundried tomatoes to mix with a mayo.

Back home a loaf of bread was hollowed out and spread with sundried tomato mayo. Then the layers are added: cheese followed by the meats, slices of tomato and some crunchy lettuce. Finally its all topped some more mayo (now with added mustard) and the top of the loaf. In the fridge for 30min to cool the whole thing down, and it’s ready to eat.


Dagwood sandwich

The summers of 2007 and 2008 were some of my favorite. Essentially they were the summers before I had to actually find a proper job. So these summers I was running one of my local rowing clubs as a coach. If you ever get into rowing, you discover that it is a very early morning sport, as well as a afternoon evening sport. So I had a need for a quick, cheap and filling lunch. By fluke one day walking through my local Sobeys (grocery store) bought a sandwich.

A ‘sandwich. ’ I hear you say ‘so what??’.

Well, if you’ve ever visited the UK you know that they spoiled for choice in terms of prepared sandwiches. Light years ahead of most other countries. The first ‘restaurant’ I ordered food in from the UK just specialises in ready sandwiches (hello PRET).

In Nova Scotia, if you go to a grocery store to buy a sandwich you will discover they are both barren in their selection and at an eye-watering price point. Pushing the culinary envelope they are not, just some meat (ham or beef) in an overly soft roll layered with mayo and iceberg lettuce. Unsurprisingly, there just isn’t a big culture of buying sandwiches to eat later. If you want a sandwich you make it yourself or go sit down in a restaurant.

So, that fateful day as I walked into Sobeys I discovered what would become my summer work lunch of choice. A Dagwood sandwich. Made popular by the cartoon strip Blondie, it is essentially a sandwich which aspires vertically. Layers of cheese, meat, tomatoes, lettuce and anything else you might want to add.

As luck would have it, we are having a minor heatwave here in the UK, and it seemed like an ideal time to recreate some memories of my summers of years gone past. I ventured to the deli counter, and received a bemused look from the counter attendance and my clear excitement in coldcuts. Some wafer thin smoked ham, chicken breast, roast beef, mortadella and slices of lovely nutty emmental. Plus a few sundried tomatoes to mix with a mayo.

Back home a loaf of bread was hollowed out and spread with sundried tomato mayo. Then the layers are added: cheese followed by the meats, slices of tomato and some crunchy lettuce. Finally its all topped some more mayo (now with added mustard) and the top of the loaf. In the fridge for 30min to cool the whole thing down, and it’s ready to eat.


Dagwood sandwich

The summers of 2007 and 2008 were some of my favorite. Essentially they were the summers before I had to actually find a proper job. So these summers I was running one of my local rowing clubs as a coach. If you ever get into rowing, you discover that it is a very early morning sport, as well as a afternoon evening sport. So I had a need for a quick, cheap and filling lunch. By fluke one day walking through my local Sobeys (grocery store) bought a sandwich.

A ‘sandwich. ’ I hear you say ‘so what??’.

Well, if you’ve ever visited the UK you know that they spoiled for choice in terms of prepared sandwiches. Light years ahead of most other countries. The first ‘restaurant’ I ordered food in from the UK just specialises in ready sandwiches (hello PRET).

In Nova Scotia, if you go to a grocery store to buy a sandwich you will discover they are both barren in their selection and at an eye-watering price point. Pushing the culinary envelope they are not, just some meat (ham or beef) in an overly soft roll layered with mayo and iceberg lettuce. Unsurprisingly, there just isn’t a big culture of buying sandwiches to eat later. If you want a sandwich you make it yourself or go sit down in a restaurant.

So, that fateful day as I walked into Sobeys I discovered what would become my summer work lunch of choice. A Dagwood sandwich. Made popular by the cartoon strip Blondie, it is essentially a sandwich which aspires vertically. Layers of cheese, meat, tomatoes, lettuce and anything else you might want to add.

As luck would have it, we are having a minor heatwave here in the UK, and it seemed like an ideal time to recreate some memories of my summers of years gone past. I ventured to the deli counter, and received a bemused look from the counter attendance and my clear excitement in coldcuts. Some wafer thin smoked ham, chicken breast, roast beef, mortadella and slices of lovely nutty emmental. Plus a few sundried tomatoes to mix with a mayo.

Back home a loaf of bread was hollowed out and spread with sundried tomato mayo. Then the layers are added: cheese followed by the meats, slices of tomato and some crunchy lettuce. Finally its all topped some more mayo (now with added mustard) and the top of the loaf. In the fridge for 30min to cool the whole thing down, and it’s ready to eat.


Dagwood sandwich

The summers of 2007 and 2008 were some of my favorite. Essentially they were the summers before I had to actually find a proper job. So these summers I was running one of my local rowing clubs as a coach. If you ever get into rowing, you discover that it is a very early morning sport, as well as a afternoon evening sport. So I had a need for a quick, cheap and filling lunch. By fluke one day walking through my local Sobeys (grocery store) bought a sandwich.

A ‘sandwich. ’ I hear you say ‘so what??’.

Well, if you’ve ever visited the UK you know that they spoiled for choice in terms of prepared sandwiches. Light years ahead of most other countries. The first ‘restaurant’ I ordered food in from the UK just specialises in ready sandwiches (hello PRET).

In Nova Scotia, if you go to a grocery store to buy a sandwich you will discover they are both barren in their selection and at an eye-watering price point. Pushing the culinary envelope they are not, just some meat (ham or beef) in an overly soft roll layered with mayo and iceberg lettuce. Unsurprisingly, there just isn’t a big culture of buying sandwiches to eat later. If you want a sandwich you make it yourself or go sit down in a restaurant.

So, that fateful day as I walked into Sobeys I discovered what would become my summer work lunch of choice. A Dagwood sandwich. Made popular by the cartoon strip Blondie, it is essentially a sandwich which aspires vertically. Layers of cheese, meat, tomatoes, lettuce and anything else you might want to add.

As luck would have it, we are having a minor heatwave here in the UK, and it seemed like an ideal time to recreate some memories of my summers of years gone past. I ventured to the deli counter, and received a bemused look from the counter attendance and my clear excitement in coldcuts. Some wafer thin smoked ham, chicken breast, roast beef, mortadella and slices of lovely nutty emmental. Plus a few sundried tomatoes to mix with a mayo.

Back home a loaf of bread was hollowed out and spread with sundried tomato mayo. Then the layers are added: cheese followed by the meats, slices of tomato and some crunchy lettuce. Finally its all topped some more mayo (now with added mustard) and the top of the loaf. In the fridge for 30min to cool the whole thing down, and it’s ready to eat.


Dagwood sandwich

The summers of 2007 and 2008 were some of my favorite. Essentially they were the summers before I had to actually find a proper job. So these summers I was running one of my local rowing clubs as a coach. If you ever get into rowing, you discover that it is a very early morning sport, as well as a afternoon evening sport. So I had a need for a quick, cheap and filling lunch. By fluke one day walking through my local Sobeys (grocery store) bought a sandwich.

A ‘sandwich. ’ I hear you say ‘so what??’.

Well, if you’ve ever visited the UK you know that they spoiled for choice in terms of prepared sandwiches. Light years ahead of most other countries. The first ‘restaurant’ I ordered food in from the UK just specialises in ready sandwiches (hello PRET).

In Nova Scotia, if you go to a grocery store to buy a sandwich you will discover they are both barren in their selection and at an eye-watering price point. Pushing the culinary envelope they are not, just some meat (ham or beef) in an overly soft roll layered with mayo and iceberg lettuce. Unsurprisingly, there just isn’t a big culture of buying sandwiches to eat later. If you want a sandwich you make it yourself or go sit down in a restaurant.

So, that fateful day as I walked into Sobeys I discovered what would become my summer work lunch of choice. A Dagwood sandwich. Made popular by the cartoon strip Blondie, it is essentially a sandwich which aspires vertically. Layers of cheese, meat, tomatoes, lettuce and anything else you might want to add.

As luck would have it, we are having a minor heatwave here in the UK, and it seemed like an ideal time to recreate some memories of my summers of years gone past. I ventured to the deli counter, and received a bemused look from the counter attendance and my clear excitement in coldcuts. Some wafer thin smoked ham, chicken breast, roast beef, mortadella and slices of lovely nutty emmental. Plus a few sundried tomatoes to mix with a mayo.

Back home a loaf of bread was hollowed out and spread with sundried tomato mayo. Then the layers are added: cheese followed by the meats, slices of tomato and some crunchy lettuce. Finally its all topped some more mayo (now with added mustard) and the top of the loaf. In the fridge for 30min to cool the whole thing down, and it’s ready to eat.



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