Along with oil=earl, terlit=toilet, abeets=pizza and many others…my little Sicilian grandma also said sang-wich. She was born in Italy, but learned her English in and around NYC. You don’t hear much of this around NY any more, but interestingly, in SE Massachusetts and RI, where there are many Portuguese, I have heard similar pronunciation. Be interesting to see if any one ever figured out the roots of such accents/pronunciation.
I don’t like people using "sangwich" to be cute or different, but for many it was simply the way they said the word.
yes, the old style now defunct "Italian New Yawkese" is alive and well here in Rhode Island (which probably explains why people here think I’m from the South or Midwest)