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You have got to be kidding me, right? My beloved pepperoni rolls made right here in Charleston? Not Charleston, WV but the other Charleston? You can't be serious, what? And soon available at farmer's markets, grocery and convenience stores? The ultimate grab and go, an authentic West Virginia style pepperoni roll, you can't be serious. YEP! I am serious.
I introduced the readers of this blog to Hot Dog Sauce and Pepperoni Buns back in January as part of my plea for cultural diversity in The Lowcountry. You may remember, the pepperoni roll/bun is the delectable crusty, yet soft and pillowy roll stuffed with spicy pepperoni and other tasty goodies like cheese and peppers. They have their roots in my hometown of Fairmont, West Virginia and they are as common around West Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio as, well boiled nut stands and barbecue joints in Charleston.
West Virginia University Alums turned Lowcountry Transplants, Jessica and Andrew, Mountain Mama's Pepperoni Rolls are now ready to burst onto the cullinary scene of my favorite foodie city, Charleston, South Carolina. If there ever was a story made for this blog, it would be Jessica and Andrew's story. In a world economy where college graduates are finishing their degrees and being greeted with letters stating "thanks but no thanks" this couple took to the road "chasing the great weather of the Lowcountry" and "traded the beautiful mountains of WV for the coastal waters" of Charleston, found day jobs and began a quest for their dream in their new life From The Land of Palm Trees. Their business plan simple, find a co-op bakery where they could produce their hand-made pepperoni rolls, spend the major part of their start-up cash on a good graphic design for their packaging and enjoy life where "the livin' is EEEEEEZZZZZZZYYYYYYY!" Their you have it, a classic start-up business from a couple of real life pioneers.
After meeting the Trumbulls last week on their way back to the "mother land" to spend a Mountaineer Football weekend in Morgantown, I put their product to the test. Michelle and I hosted the Bethany United Methodist Church Youth Senior and Junior High youth this past Sunday by providing the meal; Mountain Mama's rolls, chips and salsa finished off with chocolate chip cookies. What better way to "test the waters" and conduct an experiment in culinary cultural diversity than using fifty or so teenagers and a handful of adult counselors and parents. It didn't take long for a couple of parents to migrate back to the kitchen and say, "you have got to tell us how you make these pizza rolls." OK, so we have some work to do, first of all, they ARE NOT PIZZA ROLLS!!! And besides, you don't have to know how to make them, you just need to know that Mountain Mama's will do the baking and you just have to pony-up at the cash register. Capish? (that's understand in Italian)
At any rate, from the pictures you can tell that the test went well, and their were satisfied smiles abound. And yesterday evening I enjoyed my own version of the pepperoni roll supper with a cold Corona and of course some Oliverio's Peppers. Good luck to Mountain Mama's and keep your eyes open in The Lowcountry they are sure to be a sensation soon, watchout Tony the P-nut Man, here comes Andrew the Pepperoni Roll Dude to a sporting event near you.