16 April 2007

Pining for The Fireman's Special

I miss a lot of things about Latticini-Barese, the old Italian salumeria on Union Street near Hicks that closed in 2002. But mostly, I miss "The Fireman's Special."

This was a peerless sandwich made of various cured meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomato, oil, vinegar and sweet and hot peppers, all on half a loaf of Italian bread. It may have been the best goddam sandwich in the city, because I haven't since tasted an Italian hero that's approached it's explosive combination of spectacular flavors.

If I had had any brains, I would have written down the ingredients to the sandwich before the shop closed. They were listed right there about the counter, for Christ's sake! It wasn't a secret recipe. Sopressata, I remember. And probably Capicola. Beyond that I'm not so sure. I also remember, like I was seeing it yesterday, the simultaneous application of vinegar and oil from two different plastic squeeze bottles. It was a little bit of choreography. As for the peppers, I'm sure they marinated them themselves. They may have also used cheese made in the shop.

It's probably a doomed enterprise to try and recreate this sandwich. But does anyone out there remember it? More importantly, does anyone remember the ingredients! Please help a desperate man.


Anonymous said...

go to catene on 9th st, nw side of street @ 4th ave.
they make stunning sandwiches.
lunch only before 3p m-f.
they could probably do the fireman's special and then some.

daniel said...

hey, just a thought--find the nearest firehouse and ask? (I'm not being smart--firefighters can cook really well, so you may get yourself a good recipe even if nobody there remembers.)