There’s nothing quite like a good sandwich. The perfect combination of meat, cheese, and vegetables between two slices of bread just can’t be beat. And when you toast it? That really is the perfect lunch. As we’re sure you know, the Italian take on the toasted sandwich is called a panino. What you might not know, however, is that panini have been around for hundreds of years. At PastAmore, panini are always a popular lunch choice, and a reason why people come to us when they’re searching for “restaurants near me”!
Let’s dig in to the history of this classic Italian lunch favorite.
The Traditional Working Lunch
While panini have been a popular lunch trend in restaurants for the past few decades, we can trace them back to an Italian cookbook from the 16th century. Panini most likely originated in the Lombardy region of Italy, which has long been Italy’s leading commercial and industrial region. Panini were a popular and easy lunchtime meal for workers.
Sandwich Bars in Milan
Panini made their way to America in the early 20th century, but their modern popularity is really due to sandwich bars back in Milan in the 1970s and 80s. These bars were called paninoteche and their patrons were known as paninaro. They were fashionable young people who hung out at their favorite sandwich bars.
The Panini Press and Thomas Edison
You weren’t expecting Thomas Edison to pop up here, did you? As sandwiches in general become popular in both Europe and America in the first decades of the 20th century, the need for a sandwich grill arose. Edison invented just such a grill, which we now usually call a panini press. Cast iron plates heat the sandwich from both the top and bottom while pressing the sandwich flat. Though Edison unveiled his invention in the 1920s, it took about ten years to catch on. But once it did, it was a gamechanger for chefs and sandwich-lovers alike.
Restaurants Near Me: Grab Lunch at PastAmore!
Who knew that toasted sandwiches had such an interesting history? If all this sandwich history is making you hungry, come to PastAmore for a delicious panino! Pressed for time? We make getting lunch from “restaurants near me” a breeze with easy online ordering.