Grinder heaven in New London Saturday

It is widely accepted by most lucid folks that New London is the home of the beloved grinder.

Yes, there is a spot in heaven where Benedetto Capalbo rests tenderly, because it was in his New York Fruit Store on NL's Shaw Street that Benny constructed the first-ever grinder. He split a loaf of Italian bread and thereupon - in a burst of inspiration that renders Cogito ergo sum cretinous by comparison - heaped salami, provolone, tomatoes, lettuce, salt, pepper and a spangle of olive oil.

In commemoration, on Saturday, the City of New London and the Downtown New London Association present the Grinder is King Festival. The event takes place in the New London Waterfront Park. Five-dollar grinders will be available from several local giants of grinder-ness, including Muddy Waters, Covino's, Hamilton Street Market, Captain's Pizza, Ocean Side Deli, Terrace Bakery and Giuliano's.

Citizens can vote on their fave grinder, and the winner gets a cash prize from Boar's Head Provisions - who will be on hand dispensing samples.

Grinder is King Festival, noon-5 p.m. Saturday, New London Waterfront Park, State Street at South Water Street, New London; free; (860) 443-3786, neffproductions.com.

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