The mighty pepperoni roll.
The mighty pepperoni roll. NPR
When I left my home state of West Virginia and went away to college, I was surprised by a couple of things. One, that the rest of the world did not refer to a ski cap as a "toboggan," and two, that the rest of the world was a dark, dystopian hellplex which had never heard of a pepperoni roll. I visited West Virginia this weekend and came back with a bag to share with my poor, naive coworkers.
Mike: Pepperoni Rolls sounds like an obese piano player from the '20s. Or maybe a sausage-powered luxury car.
Eva: This is way better than the moonshine milkshake you brought back from West Virginia last time.
A pepperoni roll is a roll with pepperoni baked in the middle. It came about when Italian immigrants came to work the mines in the beginning of the 20th century, and it made for an easy, hand-held, on-the-job snack. The pepperoni was a welcome substitute over the coal rolls the miners had been eating up to that point.
Peter: You just know solar and wind won't give us good sandwiches. "Oh, yes, all the guys installing passive solar used to eat these gluten free tempeh-sprout rolls..."
Robert: As an aside, bread bowls look like they were maybe inspired by strip mining.
Robert is suspicious. NPR
Last night I was explaining to my five-year-old niece that pepperoni rolls did not exist outside of West Virginia. "Isn't that weird?" I said. "It's not weird," she said. "But it is mean."
Robert: Okay, this one's safe to eat. The canary inside is still alive.
Eva: These are a great way to sponge coal dust off your face.
They're available with stick or sliced pepperoni. I actually prefer sliced, but this is what they had at the gas station.
They're available with stick or sliced pepperoni. I actually prefer sliced, but this is what they had at the gas station. NPR
Peter: It's amazing how delicious foods come out of hardship. Many Jewish delicacies came out of our time in the poor ghettos in Europe, such as our famous Dirt Pudding.
Ian: I don't understand how these don't exist elsewhere. I feel like if you gave a million pigs a million typewriters eventually one of them would become a pepperoni roll.
[The verdict: they're delicious. Go to West Virginia and eat one. And while you're at it, have a Tudor's Biscuit too.]