PORTLAND — If you’re a fan of the Maine Italian, head to Monument Square Thursday to get a bite of what is being billed as the World’s Largest Maine Italian Sandwich. At least eight local sandwich shops plan to meet there at 11 a.m. Each will construct 16 feet of its own signature Maine Italian. Together, they hope to construct a finished sandwich that is 144 feet long.
The event is designed to bring attention to the opening event of this year’s Harvest on the Harbor food festival. “Different Roads,” scheduled for 6 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 18, will show how Maine food has been influenced by immigration over time.
Botto’s Bakery has offered to supply the 12-inch rolls for the sandwiches, and the participants are providing their own traditional ingredients. The sandwich shops that have confirmed so far are A&C Grocery, Anania’s, Pat’s, DiPietro’s, Sister’s Gourmet Deli, Deb’s, Old Port Sandwich Shop, and the Otherside Delicatessen.
So, will this sandwich actually be the World’s Largest? Jim Britt, one of the owners/producers of Harvest on the Harbor, says they checked with Guinness World Records, and it turns out there already is an Italian Meat Sandwich record – but it is a completely different sandwich. Britt says they were advised to go forward with Thursday’s event to see if they could do it – then send in details, and Guinness will consider creating a new category. The contest would have to be held again next year, with a Guinness representative present.
Britt says he thinks it will just take 20 minutes to build the sandwich, so if you want to sample it, don’t be late.