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Home / World / How the Chow-Mein sandwich claimed a small piece of New England history: The Salt: NPR

How the Chow-Mein sandwich claimed a small piece of New England history: The Salt: NPR



Regina Mark, co-owner of the Mee Sum restaurant in Fall River, Massachusetts, is holding a chow mein sandwich that has served the restaurant for over 50 years.

Sarah Mizes-Tan / WCAI


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Sarah Mizes-Tan / WCAI

Regina Mark, co-owner of the Mee Sum restaurant in Fall River, Massachusetts, is holding a chow mein sandwich that has served the restaurant for over 50 years.

Sarah Mizes-Tan / WCAI

Imagine a sandwich that is less of a sandwich than a pasta dish, and you would call what the locals in Fall River, Massachusetts call Chow-Mein sandwich, a Sino-American hybrid dish rooted in the Factory worker of the city over.

In a way, the Chow Mein sandwich is exactly what you want it to be: a serving of fried chow mein pasta with brown sauce above, served on a no-frills hamburger bun. The dish has been a specialty of Chinese restaurants in the area for decades.

"We have people from New York or Chicago, and it's so funny you'll whisper to the waiter:" Do you have these burger sandwiches? "I say," You mean the chow mein -Sandwich? Yes, we do, "says Regina Mark, co-owner of the Mee Sum restaurant in Fall River, which has been making Chow-Mein sandwiches for more than 50 years.

Sandwich is more than just a local curiosity, it's a piece of history The main reason for the sandwich's popularity in the early 1900s was fueled by Fall River's factory workers.