Vineland’s Sandwich of the Year Contest

On Saturday, February 4th, eight finalists competed in Vineland’s first ever Sandwich of the Year contest, sponsored by The Landis Marketplace.  For the contest, residents were asked to submit recipes for an original sandwich that best reflects the city, taking into account Vineland’s rich heritage as a poultry center and farm area.

Of the nearly 50 recipes entered, 8 were chosen as finalists and have been available for sale at the Marketplace over the past few weeks.  On Saturday, February 4th, a panel of judges chose the winner.  Judging was based on taste (50 percent), originality (20 percent), sandwich name (20 percent), and how it reflects Vineland (10 percent).  Mayor Robert Romano issued a proclamation to the winner, naming their creation the 2012 Sandwich of the Year.

The finalists were:

Boulevard Station Beef submitted by Will Breese

Charles Landis Sandwich submitted by David Berry

Broccoli Rabe Chicken Cheese steak submitted by John Platanella, Jr.

Cranscuitto submitted by Kendra Lewis

Sweet & Fluffy Eggplant Pollo submitted by Pearl Giordano

Gorgo’s Spicy Gobbler Parm submitted by Ronnie Gorgo

Romano Chicken Shooter submitted by Sal Tedesco

Jessica’s Sassy Chicken Salad submitted by Jessica Bernhardt

Jessica was kind enough to share her recipe for a sassy sandwich that pays tribute to Vineland’s poultry industry and the contributions of Welch’s grape juice to the Vineland community.

Jessica’s Sassy Chicken Salad

Vineland Joe’s Rotisserie chicken

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1 T spicy brown mustard

1 cup red grapes, halved

2 T finely chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 handful chopped flat leaf parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Crust and Krumb’s bakery Kaiser rolls

Pull apart chicken and tear in small pieces, set aside.  In a large bowl, mix together mayo, sour cream, and mustard.  Combine chicken into wet mixture and stir.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pile high on a bakery roll and enjoy!

And the winner? That honor went to Sal Tedesco for his tasty Romano Chicken Shooter.  Sal says that his sandwich “was made with the heart of Vineland in mind.”  He notes, “Being a farmer and food entrepreneur, my passion and love for food and agriculture led me to build a sandwich that was truly a reflection of Vineland commerce and agriculture.”  Sal’s sandwich starts with chicken to honor Vineland’s poultry heritage.  Then he breads the chicken in a Romano cheese crust as a nod to Vineland Mayor Robert Romano.  Locally produced broccoli rabe and cherry hot shots top this delicious sandwich.  You can taste the Romano Chicken Shooter for yourself at The Landis Marketplace in downtown Vineland.    Congratulations to Sal Tedesco and all the finalists for a tasty nod to Vineland’s rich local history.

Jennifer Malme is a full-time mother, sometime substitute teacher, avid locavore, and enthusiastic supporter of New Jersey wines. Her lifestyle blog, Down-Home South Jersey, explores ways to live simply and eat well in and around Cumberland County. When she is not blogging, she enjoys cooking, touring local wineries, and reading. She has never met a cheese that she doesn’t like, and she especially enjoys finding new, authentic ethnic restaurants in her area. Jennifer lives in Vineland with her husband, teenage son, and very smart Siamese cat.