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Traveling Vest Virginia
Pepperoni Rolls
A Delicious Mountain State Original



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West Virginians enjoy and celebrate some native foods that many Americans don’t even know exist, much less eat — paw paws and ramps come to mind. But the Mountain State is the bona fide birthplace of one beloved food item that has become much more familiar, in and out of the state, than these other homegrown delicacies — the pepperoni roll.

The concept is culinary simplicity — bread dough wrapped around pepperoni. And no one seems to dispute that its inventor was Giuseppe (Joseph) Argiro [pronounced AR-juh-row], who came from Calabria, Italy, in 1920 to work in the Clarksburg-area coal mines.

The inventive Argiro got the idea for the pepperoni roll directly from his experiences in the mines. A common lunch for immigrant miners, according to Giuseppe’s younger son, Frank Argiro, consisted of “a slab of bread, a chunk of pepperoni, and a bucket of water.” At some point between 1927 and 1938 — nobody seems to know exactly when — Giuseppe began placing the spicy pepperoni within the bread, and the pepperoni roll was born.

Argiro opened Country Club Bakery in the 1930's in Fairmont and began producing the pepperoni roll..it was an instant hit. Today owner Chris Pallotta and his dedicated staff continue the north central West Virginia tradition by making hundreds of pepperoni rolls daily, but you better get there early...they taste best hot from the oven and they go fast!

Country Club Bakery

Pepperoni Rolls Person Interviewed: Chris Pallotta
Title: Owner
Location: Marion County, West Virginia
Address: 1211 Country Club Road Fairmont, WV 26554
Phone: 304 363-5690


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