I’m a huge fan of spiedies (SPEE-deez), a kebab of marinated meat that’s popular in the upstate New York city of Binghamton, where I went to college in the 1980s. Spiedies have gotten sporadic attention over the years from the national food media, but they’ve stubbornly remained as a local/regional specialty and have never really broken through beyond the Binghamton area. (Like a lot of regional foods, they’ve been used as the basis for a minor league baseball one-day rebranding, as the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies have played as the Binghamton Spiedies.)
Anyway: I’ve written about spiedies for varous publications, including the first issue of my own zine, Beer Frame: The Journal of Inconspicuous Consumption, in 1993. Here’s what I wrote at the time (this photo is from my only remaining copy of BF#1):
As it happens, there’s a podcast called Understanding Upstate, which is all about upstate New York regional culture. The hosts, Jim Search and Rob Adler, were planning to do an episode about spiedies and came across my spiedie scribblings in the course of their preliminary research, so they asked if they could interview me. I happily agreed.
The podcast episode just went live today. The whole thing is worth listening to, but you can skip to the 38:16 mark if you just want to hear my segment:
Between this and that new NFL Explained episode about jerseys, I guess this is my big day for interview appearances. Funny how things sometimes align that way!