Spiedies is a grilled meat dish made in Broome County, New York State.
It is cubed meat that is marinated, then cooked on a skewer. It is served inside a slice of Italian-style bread, or it can be used as a topping for salads.
Traditionally, the meat was lamb; now, it can be any kind of lean meat. The most popular version now is made with chicken.
The marinating sauce can be anything, though sauces for lamb usually include mint. The meat will be marinated for anywhere from 1 day to a week.
The skewers are cooked over a gas grill or charcoal grill. They shouldn’t be overcooked or the meat will get tough.
When served, the Spiedies can also be brushed with some of the sauce that was reserved and not used for marinating.
Some people like serving them on rolls such as hot dog rolls, or small submarine rolls.
It is not certain how they came to be made in Broome County, but it appears they were brought in by Italian immigrants.
They may have originated with Augustine Iacovelli, who immigrated from Abruzzo in Italy in 1929. He opened a restaurant in 1939.
He cooked lamb on wooden skewers. He didn’t marinate the lamb pieces; instead, he sprayed them with a sauce before and while cooking. The sauce was made of garlic, lemon juice, mint, wine vinegar and water.
A Spiedies festival has been held in Broome County every August since 1983.
The word Spiedies is presumed to come from the Italian word “spiedo”, meaning “spit”, as in cooking spit.
It is pronounced “speedies.”