The Grinder sandwich was first invented in New London County Connecticut. I grew up in Noank, which is part of the Town of Groton. All the pizza shops, grocery stores, etc. call them Grinders. Local legend has it that the term "Submarine Sandwich" came about not because of the shape of the bread, but because of the large number of grinders that were served to the military at the United States Submarine Base, which is located in Groton, Connecticut, as well as the vendors and little shops that are set up right out side of Electric Boat, where nuclear submarines are built. The locals still call them grinders, and refuse to use any other term to describe them.
There are many variations on the grinder that are done in other cities around the country, particularly in the northeast. However, none of these variations are completely accurate. No place in Groton would put onions, vinegar or mayo on a Grinder unless someone asked them to. If you went into the average shop in the area and ordered a "regular grinder" you would get a sandwich made on grinder bread with the roll cut but not split in half. It would have Salami, Provolone cheese, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, salt, pepper and oregano. That's it. For a few cents extra you could have Genoa salami instead of Cotto Salami. Then there are ham, tuna, turkey, meatless and so forth.
post edited by CoolCatComposer - 2011/07/23 11:26:18