DEAR SUN SPOTS: Can you answer a question that I’ve had for a long time about “Italian” sandwiches? Do people in other states besides Maine refer to these sandwiches as “Italians”? I’ve lived in several states during my life, and visited a great many more, but have never been anywhere else where people call them “Italian” sandwiches. In some places they are called subs, while in other places they are called grinders, heroes or hoagies. Maine seems to be the only place I’ve been where people call the sandwiches “Italians”. Do you and your readers know if Maine is unique in this way? — No name, no town

ANSWER: Here’s what I found out about Maine’s traditional “Italian” sandwich that consists of a long bread bun with meats such as  salamimortadellacapicolla and ham along with provolone, tomato, onion, green bell pepper, Greek olives, olive oil or salad oil, salt and pepper. Additional ingredients, such as pepperonibanana peppers, and lettuce are sometimes added. It is said that this delectable sandwich was invented in Portland in 1903 by Giovanni Amato, a baker.

If you are from other environs in New England, you may call your sandwich a “grinder,” but if you’re from Boston (and many other places across the country) you could call it a sub, unless you’re from East Boston, where it’s called a “spuckie”.

Additionally, if you’re from Yonkers or Westchester, New York, you may have a craving for a “wedge”, but if you’re from other NYC vicinities, you may refer to your yummy sandwich as a “hero.” People from Binghamton, in the central part of the state, indulge in a “spiedie.” Oh, but hey, it’s a “bomber” if you’re from Rochester, Buffalo, or Ithaca!

Those from Philadelphia call this big sandwich a “hoagie,” but if you’re from Eastern PA, it’s a “zeppelin.” From New Jersey? If so, you eat “blimpies.”

It’s a po’boy if you hail from the Gulf Coast and Louisiana, but a “poor boy” if you live in the lower mid-west section of the country.

If you have more names for a “sub” sandwich, know more about Maine Italian sandwiches, or disagree with any of these findings, please share! Sun Spots is open for helpful comments as well as for all your burning questions.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: There was an inquiry recently (May 19 Sun Spots) about pest control businesses in the area. I recommend PestShield LLC in West Paris. The contact information is [email protected], 513-6089,

The owner is very congenial, knowledgeable and accommodating. I checked with the owner prior to sending this recommendation to Sun Spots to make sure she was in agreement in providing her contact information for publication. — No name, Lewiston

ANSWER: Thanks for the recommendation. Into the Rolodex it goes!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Thank you to the young man who saved my life. I was choking and he came and helped me. We are so grateful for him being there for me at that time. I would also like to thank his family and my family for supporting me and being there. Thank you. May God bless you all. — Rita, Lisbon

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].

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