Eleven local sandwich shops gathered in Portland’s Monument Square late morning Thursday to build what may be the unofficial World’s Largest Maine Italian Sandwich – 160 feet from end to end.

Collectively, it took the sandwich makers about 25 minutes to build it, said Gillian Britt, one of the owner/producers of Portland’s Harvest on the Harbor festival, adding “it was devoured in far less time than it took to make it.”

Spectators get to taste the results after local sandwich shops build a 160-foot-long Maine Italian sandwich in Monument Squaure in Portland on Thursday to promote this year’s Harvest on the Harbor event.

The participants were, in part, trying for a record, but Guinness World Records doesn’t (yet) have a category for the sandwich. So Guinness suggested Portland have a trial run. Next year, the organizers hope do it again with a Guinness representative on hand to make it count. But the real reason behind the sandwich-making spectacle was to bring attention to “Different Roads,” the opening event of this year’s Harvest on the Harbor. The event, 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 18, highlights how immigration has influenced Maine food.

“Maine Italians are an institution. This event celebrated all Maine Italians in one huge, long, fun sandwich,” Britt said. “It went from the end of Monument Square, that funny road that curves around that no one can remember the name of, all the way over past the public market entrance. We thought at one point we might run out of Monument Square.”

Representatives from Corsetti’s in Westbrook celebrate after finishing their section of the sandwich string.

Sandwich makers were A&C Grocery, Anania’s, Broadway Variety, Corsetti’s, Deb’s, DiPietro’s, Leavitt & Sons; Old Port Sandwich Shop, Otherside Delicatessen, Pat’s and Sisters Gourmet Deli. No Amato’s, though, which claims to have invented the sandwich in 1902.

No official count of sandwich eaters, but there were “a lot,” Britt said, repeating “a lot,” for emphasis.

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