According to West Virginia historian and author Jeanne Mozier — whom I have met in Berkeley Springs and have found to be expert in so many things — pepperoni rolls were invented in a Fairmont, WV bakery in 1927. Their raison d’etre is to be sturdy and hearty fare for local coal miners. Cumberland, Maryland is right on the the West Virginia border. In fact, the Potomac River is very narrow at that point, dividing the two states.
Whether you head to a Cumberland-area Walmart, a Grantsville Pilot or right in downtown Cumberland to Caporale’s Bakery, you can lay your hands on a super-local taste treat. Pepperoni rolls are big, fresh sub-style buns stuffed with slices of pepperoni. That’s it. Simple, but genius. They also have pizza rolls, with cheese and tomato sauce . . . but I say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Dave Caporale’s Bakery is a 4th generation Italian bakery — many Italians immigrated into the area for mine work — open since 1906. Apparently, Dave has won the primary for Cumberland City Council. I’m not a Cumberland voter, but if I were . . . he could buy my vote with his irresistible pepperoni rolls! In fact, if any Baltimore politicians were in the pepperoni rolls baked goods’ business for 4 generations and brought over samples, I’d feel much more favorably about them.