The true story of the Pasqualino, the typical sandwich of Alberobello
One of the most interesting traditions, in a certain way hidden in Alberobello, is the one of so called "Pasqualino" sandwich, appears for the first time in 1966.
This is one of those customs, that live hidden into a community, learned and shared by word of mouth and only recently, some groceries and some guides started to advertise.
At first glance, the ingredients may not convince. A sandwich, usually a rosetta or turtle bread type and, precisely in this order: tuna fish, capers, salami and cheese.
But once you taste it, you can understand why it became so popular among the locals.
From the original ingredients, many modifications has been introduced by shop keepers and clients. Such as the pickles, added soon later by the shop keeper Ninuccio Neglia of the grocery "Muzzett", in the so called "mixed sandwiches", and nowadays "officially" added to the ingredientsof the "Pasqualino". Until it is made also with, mushrooms in oil or with mix of cold cuts cubes in oil, or such as variants with other kind of cold cuts.
But the original recipe, you can order it in every cold cuts counter, where, even if it's not advertised, almost as responding to a password, anyone will be able to serve it.
But where is born and who invented the "Pasqualino" sandwich?
The shared opinion is that the "inventor" was Pasquale Dell'Erba, owner of a grocery once located between Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Cesare Battisti.
It is true that both the name and the first spread of the sandwich, are attributable to Pasquale Dell'Erba, however, it seems that in front of his grocery, used to meet a small group of friends: Carlo Fasano, Mimmo Giliberti and Nicola Liuzzi.
Well informed, very close to Pasquale Dell'Erba, tells that was precisely this group of friends to start the habit to ask a sandwich with this unusual mix of ingredients, and from them, started the the habit "to have a Pasqualino" as it's said now and lasts still.
Pasquale dell'Erba, inventor of the Pasqualino sandwich © Copyright Alberobello.comPasquale dell'Erba, inventor of the Pasqualino sandwich © Copyright Alberobello.com
The grocery of Pasquale Dell'Erba, was located just on the path of the students, who used to go to the Agrarian school, just behind the St. Medics Basilica. Those students, every morning, used to buy a sandwich for their recreation time. Pasquale Dell'Erba started to offer the "Pasqualino" for all the students. The recipe was winning, a cheap sandwich but rich of ingredients. The demand raised to the point that the time needed to prepare them wasn't anymore enough.
Pasquale Dell'Erba so begun to prepare them a good quantity already in the early morning, with the help of his brother-in-law Mimino Dormio, and offering them like this, already prepared and wrapped, into a chest placend on the counter. The student just had to pick up one and pay.
This habit, to prepare a chest of "Pasqualino" sandwiches, spread out to the other groceries, lasted until the end of the '90.
Since then, the recipe has been preserved from grocery to grocery, so that nowadays you can just ask a "Pasqualino", in any counter of the town, to be immediately understood. But only in Alberobello.