A True Sandwich Legend From Illinois
The one sandwich that's truly a staple in Illinois is the Italian Beef. Born and raised in our great state but where did it come from and how long has It been around? Well Thrillist.com, has all the answers. It seems the sandwich came about around the end of World War One.
A street peddler named Anthony Ferrari was known for delivering cold sandwiches and other meals around the city that he cooked from his home. While many places claim to be the spot this famous sandwich originated from, Most say that it came about from the Italian-American immigrant "Peanut Wedding." Which was a cheap style wedding held in homes and churches in the early 1900s. There wasn't a lot of money to go around so it was all about cheap eats to fill up the wedding guests.
They used to use thick cuts of beef for the sandwiches but then Ferrari noticed that if you sliced the beef thinner and cook it in its own juices he could feed almost twice as many people. He then named it the Italian Beef sandwich and continued with wedding catering and lunch service. Twenty years later, in 1938 his son Decided to turn Anthony's sandwich into a real business.
The Original Al's Beef actually started as a front for bookies, but later Al kicked out the gamblers and the next thing he knew the restaurant started growing rapidly and the rest is history. This is only one side of the story as others claim to be the mastermind behind this tasty sandwich.