The State Food of WV

As most of you know, Mark and his crew enjoy a good pepperoni roll now and again. But what you may not know is the story behind this humble, yet delicious food. Here in WV, we have strong feelings about them. In my bakery, we can spot someone from out of state immediately, because they will ask “what is that?” If you’re from WV, you just KNOW!

The pepperoni roll was first sold by Giuseppe Argiro at the Country Club Bakery in Fairmont, West Virginia, in 1927. The rolls originated as a lunch option for the coal miners of north-central West Virginia in the first half of the 20th century. They did not need to be refrigerated and could readily be packed for lunch by the miners. Plus, they contain meat, bread, and sometimes cheese: all of the main food groups! Once you talk to people here in WV, you find out that pepperoni rolls are sometimes a big topic for discussion. Should they have cheese? Should they be served with sauce? Should they use sticks or slices of pepperoni? It seems that everyone has an opinion. One bakery up state even serves theirs with peppers in sauce, which we believe is blasphemy.

Here in White Sulphur Springs, we keep it old school. We start with soft yeasty bread dough, rolled out and wrapped around hand-cut sticks of pepperoni and mozzarella, baked together to keep the sides soft, and finished with a good brushing of butter when they come out of the oven.

We serve them on Fridays and Saturdays and make a ton for special orders during football season and other occasions. Being next door to Barnwood Living, we also make a lot for hungry hillbillies who work hard every day making cool things out of pieces of history!

Erin Bowes
Owner, B Sweet Confectionery