Pepperoni Rolls: An Italian-American Baker’s Gift to the World

Mar 25, 2021 1018

When Italian immigrants came to work in the West Virginia coal mines during the early 1900s, their contributions went far beyond the energy sector. They also made a lasting mark on the Mountain State’s culture. One tantalizing example: the pepperoni roll, the ultra-popular if unofficial state food.

Similar in some ways to a calzone or stromboli, the pepperoni roll is precisely what its name implies: spicy cured meat, rolled into a traditional Italian-style dough, and baked to a fragrant, flavorful brilliance. Die-hard fans will tell you the best part is the tender, orange-tinted interior, where the bread melds with the pepperoni grease.

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