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As a 43 year old native of Des Moines and pretty much raised on Grinders I have to say Graziano's Sausage is what makes the sandwich. Their seasoning plays a big part in the taste of the sandwich. Without it, it will not be the same regardless of how it is prepared or seasoned.


I will not go an Iowa State Fair without a Gizmo. I actually just had a pizza from a local joint that was a Grinder pizza, based off of the Gizmo. It's only available in August though, so I had to find the recipe to make it myself. I can't wait to try this! Thank you!

Kerry Petersen

NorthernLights Pizza sells "Grinder pizzas, Sandwiches and Cavatelli year round in Des Moines, Kansas City and many small towns in the midwest. YUM!

Louis Dyer

My wife makes her version of Guinea Grinders with 100% hot Italian sausage and fennel seeds to make for much hotter sandwich. After cooking it down and draining the fat, she dumps in some spaghetti sauce and Italian seasonings. She then lets that simmer for a while until thick like a Manwich. Next, she portions off what we'll eat that day and portion the rest into smaller freezer containers to be frozen for use later. I then slice the bread into a nice, deep pocket and spoon the meat/sauce mix into it. Last, we top it with either shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese. After that, we just warm the whole concoction in the microwave oven to melt the cheese and warm the bread. It makes for a warm and gooey sandwich.

Ginny always wrapped her sandwiches in foil and kept them in a steamer/warmer until sold at the Fair. I don't recall her ever using a broiler. I always thought her version was tastier than Campbell's version (too dry). I can't recall ever eating a Carl's version at the Fair or in a restaurant in DSM. I have a vague recollection they existed back in the 70s and 80s at the ISF, but that's it.

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