The Tastes of the Region #1: Spiedies

This will be the first of a series of posts discussing local foods found in Upstate New York. Some of them (like this one) will detail a local creation, while others may discuss ethnic foods imported into our cities, but rare elsewhere in the United States. Just as buildings, unique weather patterns and historical people make a region, so do its individual flavors. If you have a favorite local recipie that meets this category, please send it to York Staters with a discussion of its importance and we'll put it up.

The Spiedie is found only within the Southern Tier of New York and Pennsylvania's Northern Tier. There is some dispute over its creator, though many agree that Lupo's Spiedies in Endicott was the first. The Spiedie, however, is a truly democratic dish, with innumerable family recipies. Every summer, the people of the Binghamton area gather for the annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally, which features a competition for the best Spiedie of the year and the launching of dozens of brightly-colored hot air balloons.

To quote Lupo's website: "Spiedies, (pronounced "speedies"), are marinated cubes of meat cooked on a skewer...Traditionally, spiedies were made from lamb. Today, however, they are made from lamb, pork, chicken, veal, venison, and beef. The cubes of meat are marinated in a sauce as varied as the types of people that enjoy them." I found this recipie on a post at a Cycling website, I hope you enjoy the taste of the Southern Tier:

Beef Spiedies (Celine Hughes, Vestal)
beef, grilling
3 pounds boneless beef; cubed
1 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2/4 cup fresh sweet basil; chopped
4 clove fresh garlic; chopped
3/4 cup italian parsley; chopped
3 tablespoons fresh mint; chopped
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Combine marinade ingredients. Let meat marinate in refrigerator for three days. Skewer; grill overhot coals. Note: This recipe is one of the winners of the 2002 Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally Expo cooking contest.


NYCO said...

"The Spiedie is found only within the Southern Tier of New York and Pennsylvania's Northern Tier."

Just a clarification - Spiedies are found throughout CNY (they're popular at the State Fair), but obviously, they originate from the Southern Tier.

Upstate cuisine... it's all about the MEAT. (And, in Syracuse's case, potatoes.)

Jennifer said...

Wow--I'm so glad to discover your blog. I'm going to add your link to my blog, Cookin in the 'Cuse--and tell folks about your Taste of the Region series. As a born and bred New Yorker (NYC) I'm all about celebrating my adopted home of upstate NY--this is a great place to be.

joe said...

hey jesse, you're describing shishkabobs, originating in turkey/central asia.

Lee Stevens said...

Thanks for keeping the upstate pride alive and well

Jesse said...

I stand corrected on the expansion of the Spiedie into Central New York, also along into Elmira and perhaps (I'll need an outside source on this one) into Scranton? I agree that Upstate Cuisine is often about meat, something that I, as a vegetarian, dislike. However, I've always been proud that the Moosewood Co-op vegetarian restaurant/cook-book publisher, one of the pioneers in American vegetarian cooking, is located in Ithaca.

Mrs Mecomber said...

Oh great. Now I'm hungry.

matteo said...

Spiedies originated in Italy and are called spiedo and or other forms of that word. look it up. it's not hard to find

exSUNYBstudent said...

I went to SUNY Binghamton and now live in Manhattan. Someone upstate should move to NYC and open a spiedie location---it would sell like MAD here. You'd have a gold mine.

lookin4you2xist said...

I live in St Pete Fl and I just bought Spiedie Sauce from Sweetbay Supermarkets. It will be a great weekend. You can find em in Scranton as well =)