- Grant Recipient
Legends & Lore®
- 1229 Country Club Rd, Fairmont, WV 26554, USA
- 39.4723245, -80.1710289
Convention & Visitors Bureau of Marion County
WEST VIRGINIA DELICACY
CREATED BY ITALIAN FAMILIES
IN FAIRMONT TO FEED
LOCAL COAL MINERS. VARIANTS
NOW POPULAR STATEWIDE.
WEST VIRGINIA HUMANITIES COUNCIL
WILLIAM G. POMEROY FOUNDATION 2019
The pepperoni roll is considered a cornerstone of culture in North Central West Virginia; an area with a large Italian population. Italian immigrant and coal miner, Giuseppe Argiro, created the beloved dish in 1927 by taking an already popular snack of pepperoni sticks and bread loaves one step further. Argiro baked the pepperoni inside the bread, which caused the fats in the pepperoni to melt and infuse the soft bread with its spicy oil. Needless to say, the pepperoni roll was an instant hit. Not only was it tasty, but coal miners appreciated its portability and lack of need for refrigeration. It could be eaten by hand and was often fine to eat as leftovers a day later.
As the popularity of the pepperoni roll grew, so did its variations. Some include cheese, peppers, or even other types of meats, such as shredded or ground beef. Nearly 100 years following Giuseppe Argiro’s famous invention, the pepperoni roll continues to live on in the hearts, and mouths, of its fans.