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Several local grinder shops were on hand for the “Grinder is King Festival” last weekend in New London, but only one was voted first place by festival-goers: Giuliano’s in Niantic.
“We knew it was going to be a little difficult ,” Jack Giuliano, co-owner, said by phone today, contesting rumors that another grinder-maker won last Saturday. “We were worried about Terrace (Bakery in New London) because they also bake their own bread. But we blew them away.”
A Brooklyn native, Giuliano says he uses a recipe he brought with him when he moved to the area in 1971.
“We make it the old style way,” he said. “We give it fermentation time and we hearth bake it. It makes it crispy.”
When asked what grinder his shop is best known for, Giuliano said, “Pretty much all of them.”
But, he added, there’s one that separates his business from the competitors.
“We’re the only one that still makes the Italian tuna,” Giuliano said. “That’s what I think gave us the edge at the festival.”