Sorriso Italian Salumeria (Food Memories of 2011, No. 17)

Every day in December, I'm writing a short post about some food memory from 2011, mostly to be more thankful for all the great food and drink I've been lucky enough to have this year.

Over the summer, Boyfriend and I made a journey to the Italian side of Astoria, which is typically known as being a very Greek neighborhood. (In reality, Astoria is more and more diverse all the time, and it's not merely Greek or Italian, but a nice mix of different cultures, age ranges, and types of people.)

We had heard about this market called Sorriso, which supposedly made killer sandwiches. It does. Sorriso makes these enormous cold and hot heroes that hit the mark for balancing flavors. I must admit that the quality of flavors and how they were blended totally exceeded my expectations for a pretty average looking Italian deli. 

A "hero" is what I always called a "sub," or submarine sandwich, as a kid on Long Island. I don't think I heard the term "sub" until college. I also remember hearing the word "hoagie" on The Cosby Show when I was young and puzzling that for a while. For those of you outside the U.S., a sub, hero, hoagie, or grinder is a sandwich made on a long loaf of bread, about 30cm long. Those long sticks of bread were called "hero rolls" where I grew up, but they also resemble submarines, hence the name "submarine sandwich" which is shortened to "sub." Don't ask me how the words "grinder" and "hoagie" originated. I don't know.

Sorriso's famous cold hero, called The Godfather, piles a variety of cold meats, cheese, pickled peppers, sweet Balsamic vinegar, red onions, and all kinds of other mildly stinky but delicious ingredients, but balances them all just right. At one bite, it seems like the spicier meats will be overwhelming, until your tongue hits a dash of sweet balsamic vinegar to cool it off. The onions come on strong in other bite, until you keep chewing and hit the peppers that contrast in flavor and texture.

The shop also is a market, so you can buy all kinds of Italian specialty items. On another visit, we picked up some house-made soppresata with orange peel and fennel. Delicious.

Sorriso Italian Salumeria
44-16 30th Ave.
Astoria, NY