A story by anonymous from 2018
@ham_italian is an Instagram account I created, with the help of several friends, that celebrates the Maine ham Italian sandwich and the culture surrounding it. The Italian sandwich is a Maine staple and can be purchased in almost every corner store, but because of its humble ingredients and beginnings, is often overlooked when we talk about Maine food.
My family are Italian immigrants. My grandfather was a fisherman, fireman and an all around great cook, his father came from Italy and had a barber shop on Deer and Middle streets in Portland. My father owned a store on Washington Avenue where he specialized in Italian Sandwiches, my grandfather and father also made meatballs and sauce and all the other Italian American goodies for the menu. The building burnt down and was a huge blow to my father. Clearly, loving Italian Sandwiches came naturally to me, and was my inspiration for starting @ham_italian.
Maine Italian ingredients, and the "right" way to make one, is hotly debated, because it is not like the Italian sandwich from New York City or New Jersey. @ham_italian seeks to provide a platform for Maine Italian sandwich lovers living either in Maine or away.