One of America’s Favorites – Submarine Sandwich

December 30, 2013 at 10:45 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A submarine sandwich.

A submarine sandwich.

A submarine sandwich, also known as a sub, hoagie, hero, grinder, or one of many regional naming variations, is a sandwich that consists of a long roll of Italian or French bread, split width wise either into two pieces or opened in a “V” on one side, and filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables, seasonings, and sauces. The sandwich has no standardized name, and many U.S. regions have their own names for it; one study found 13 different names for the sandwich in the United States. The usage of the several terms varies regionally but not in any pattern, as they have been used variously by the people and enterprises who make and sell them. The terms submarine and sub are widespread and not assignable to any certain region, though many of the localized terms are clustered in the northeast United States, where most Italian Americans live.

 

 

The sandwich originated in several different Italian American communities in the Northeastern United States from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries. Portland, Maine claims to be the birthplace of the “Italian sandwich” and it is considered Maine’s signature sandwich. The popularity of this Italian-American cuisine has grown from its origins in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts to most parts of the United States, Canada, and with the advent of chain restaurants, is now available in many parts of the world. In Europe, it would simply be known as a baguette, or a ciabatta, named after traditional breads long baked in France and Italy.

 

 

Sub sandwich

Sub sandwich

The use of the term “submarine” or “sub” (after the resemblance of the roll to the shape of a submarine) is widespread. One theory is that it originated in a restaurant in Scollay Square in Boston, Massachusetts at the beginning of World War I. The sandwich was created to entice the large numbers of navy servicemen stationed at the Charlestown Navy Yard. The bread was a smaller, specially baked baguette that resembled the hull of the submarines it was named after.
Another theory suggests the submarine was brought to the U.S. by Dominic Conti (1874–1954), an Italian immigrant who came to New York in the early 1900s. He is said to have named it after seeing the recovered 1901 submarine called Fenian Ram in the Paterson Museum of New Jersey in 1918. His granddaughter has stated the following: “My grandfather came to this country circa 1895 from Montella, Italy. Around 1910, he started his grocery store, called Dominic Conti’s Grocery Store, on Mill Street in Paterson, New Jersey where he was selling the traditional Italian sandwiches. His sandwiches were made from a recipe he brought with him from Italy which consisted of a long crust roll, filled with cold cuts, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, oil, vinegar, Italian herbs and spices, salt, and pepper. The sandwich started with a layer of cheese and ended with a layer of cheese (this was so the bread wouldn’t get soggy).

 

 

The term hoagie originated in the Philadelphia area. The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin reported, in 1953, that Italians working at the World War I–era shipyard in Philadelphia, known as Hog Island where emergency shipping was produced for the war effort, introduced the sandwich, by putting various meats, cheeses, and lettuce between two slices of bread. This became known as the “Hog Island” sandwich; shortened to “Hoggies”, then the “hoagie”.
The Philadelphia Almanac and Citizen’s Manual offers a different explanation, that the sandwich was created by early-twentieth-century street vendors called “hokey-pokey men”, who sold antipasto salad, meats and cookies. When Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta H.M.S. Pinafore opened in Philadelphia in 1879, bakeries produced a long loaf called the pinafore. Entrepreneurial “hokey-pokey men” sliced the loaf in half, stuffed it with antipasto salad, and sold the world’s first “hoagie”.
Another explanation is that the word “hoagie” arose in the late 19th to early 20th century, among the Italian community in South Philadelphia, when “on the hoke” was a slang used to describe a destitute person. Deli owners would give away scraps of cheeses and meats in an Italian bread-roll known as a “hokie”, but the Italian immigrants pronounced it “hoagie”.
Other less likely explanations involve “Hogan” (a nickname for Irish workers at the Hog Island shipyard), a reference to the pork or “hog” meat used in hoagies, “honky sandwich” (using a racial slur for white people seen eating them) or “hooky sandwich” (derived from “hookie” for truant kids seen eating them). Shortly after World War II, there were numerous varieties of the term in use throughout Philadelphia. By the 1940s, the spellings “hoagie” and, to a lesser extent, “hoagy” had come to dominate less used variations like “hoogie” and “hoggie”. By 1955, restaurants throughout the area were using the term “hoagie”, with many selling hoagies and subs or hoagies and pizza. Listings in Pittsburgh show hoagies arriving in 1961 and becoming widespread in that city by 1966.
Former Philadelphia mayor (and later Pennsylvania governor) Ed Rendell declared the hoagie the “Official Sandwich of Philadelphia”. However, there are claims that the hoagie was actually a product of nearby Chester, Pennsylvania. DiCostanza’s in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania claims that the mother of DiConstanza’s owner originated the hoagie in 1925 in Chester. DiCostanza relates the story that a customer came into the family deli and through an exchange matching the customer’s requests and the deli’s offerings, the hoagie was created.
A local Philadelphia variation on the hoagie is the zep made in Norristown, Pennsylvania. It is a variation on the traditional hoagie, with no lettuce and only one meat. It is made on a round roll, with provolone cheese covering meat, chunks of raw onion, and slabs of tomato. It is dressed with oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil, and hot pepper relish.

 

The New York term hero is first attested in 1937. The name is sometimes credited to the New York Herald Tribune food writer Clementine Paddleford in the 1930s, but there is no good evidence for this. It is also sometimes claimed that it is related to the gyro, but this is unlikely as the gyro was unknown in the United States until the 1960s, according to some sources.
“Hero” (plural usually heros remains the prevailing New York City term for most sandwiches on an oblong roll with a generally Italian flavor, in addition to the original described above. Pizzeria menus often include eggplant parmigiana, chicken parmigiana, and meatball heros, each served with sauce.

 

 

 

Roast beef grinder

Roast beef grinder

Grinder, a common term in New England, its origin has several possibilities. One theory has the name coming from Italian-American slang for a dock worker, among whom the sandwich was popular Others say it was called a grinder because it took a lot of chewing to eat the hard crust of the bread used.
In western Massachusetts a grinder is specifically a toasted sub, for example, the sub is toasted in a pizza oven. In Pennsylvania and Delaware, the term grinder simply refers to a submarine sandwich that has been heated in any fashion.

From its origins with the Italian American labor force in the Northeastern United States, the sub began to show up on menus of local pizzerias. As time went on and popularity grew, small restaurants, called Hoagie shops and Sub shops, that specialized in the sandwich began to open.
After World War II, Italian food grew in popularity in the US and started to become assimilated. This brought the use of other meats to the sandwich including turkey, roast beef, American and Swiss cheese, as well as spreads such as mayonnaise and mustard.

 

 
Pizzerias may have been among the first Italian-American eateries, but even at the turn of the [20th] century distinctions were clear-cut as to what constituted a true ristorante. To be merely a pizza-maker was to be at the bottom of the culinary and social scale; so many pizzeria owners began offering other dishes, including the hero sandwich (also, depending on the region of the United States, called a ‘wedge,’ a ‘hoagie,’ a ‘sub,’ or a ‘grinder’) made on a Italian loaf of bread with lots of salami, cheese, and peppers.
—John Mariani, America Eats Out, p. 66
By the late 20th century, due to the rise of large franchisee chain restaurants and fast food, the sandwich became available worldwide. Many outlets offer non-traditional ingredient combinations.
In the United States, many chain restaurants have arisen that specialize in subs including Capriotti’s, Submarina, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Blimpie, Jimmy John’s, Lenny’s Sub Shop, Milio’s, Port of Subs, Eegee’s, Firehouse Subs, Penn Station, Planet Sub, Potbelly, Tubby’s, Schlotzsky’s, Which Wich and D’Angelo Sandwich Shops. Major international chains include Quiznos, Mr. Sub and the largest restaurant chain in the world, Subway. The sandwich is also usually available at supermarkets and convenience stores.

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Steak and Cheese Hoagies w/ Baked Crinkle Fries

July 20, 2012 at 5:19 PM | Posted in baking, BEEF, cheese, Healthy Life Whole Grain Breads, mushrooms, Ore - Ida | 3 Comments
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Today’s Menu: Steak (London Broil) and Cheese Hoagies w/ Baked Crinkle Fries
While at Walmart I picked up a beautiful London Broil. I decided to have a Steak and Cheese Hoagie and Spiced Mayo w/ Baked Crinkle Fries for dinner. I seasoned the Broil with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn. I then pan fried it about 4 minutes per side to medium rare. Along with the Steak recipe I left the recipe for the Spiced Mayo and a Worcestershire Mix Sauce at the end of the post. Make sure you make both the sauces they go fantastic with the sandwich. If you like Steak Sandwiches you have to give this a try! I used Healthy Life Whole Grain Hot Dog Buns for the bread, a lot fewer calories and carbs than Hoagie Buns. For sides we had Baked Ore Ida Crinkle Fries. For dessert/snack later a 100 Calorie Mini Bag of Jolly Time Pop Corn

Steak and Cheese Hoagies

Ingredients

1 1/2 pound London Broil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and freshly Ground Black Peppercorn
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon French’s Spicy Brown Mustard
1 teaspoon chopped Rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Healthy Life Whole Grain Hot Dog Buns
Sargento’s Muenster Cheese Slices, 1 slice per sandwich
1/2 cup Kraft Reduced Fat Mayonnaise w/ Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Frank’s Hot Sauce
5 Large Portabella Mushrooms, sliced and sauteed.

Directions

1 Remove steak from refrigerator 2 hours before cooking to bring to room temperature (only do this with whole cuts of meat, never with ground meat.) Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

2 Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Place the beef in the skillet and let it cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, check before flipping to make sure it has nicely browned. At this point, if you have a steak only an inch thick or less, you can take the skillet off the heat and just let the steak sit for several minutes in the skillet, which will retain enough heat to cook the steak to medium rare. You can test for doneness by using a small sharp knife and cutting into the center to check the color. Also, if the steak is brown on both sides and it is weeping red juice.

* If you have a thicker steak, you can finish it off in the oven, at 325°F for 15 minutes or so. Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the steak. It will be done at 130°F for medium rare. If you are using the oven method, when done, remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.

3 While the Steak is frying, in a medium bowl whisk together the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, mustard, rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Set aside. Slice and Sautee Mushrooms and set aside.

4 Remove the steak from the pan to a cutting board. Slice the steak thinly and toss the slices in the Worcestershire sauce mixture.

5 Spread the buns open and arrange on a baking sheet.Top each bun with a slice of the cheese and put them under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 1 to 2 minutes.

6 In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and hot sauce. Spread the mayonnaise onto the bottom of each bun. Put the slices of the beef onto each of the roll and top with the mushroom slices.

One of America’s Favorites – Po’ boy

July 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM | Posted in Food | Leave a comment
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A po’ boy (also po-boy, po boy, or poor boy) is a traditional submarine sandwich from Louisiana. It almost always consists of meat, usually roast beef, or fried seafood. The meat is served on baguette-like New Orleans French bread, known for its crisp crust and fluffy

Shrimp po’ boy

center.

A key ingredient that differentiates po’ boys from other submarine sandwiches is the bread. Typically, the French bread comes in two-foot-long “sticks”. Standard sandwich sizes might be a half po’ boy, about six inches long (called a “Shorty”) and a full po’ boy, at about a foot long. The traditional versions are served hot and include fried shrimp, and oysters. Soft shell crab, catfish, crawfish, Louisiana hot sausage, fried chicken breast, roast beef, and French fries are other common variations. The last two are served with gravy.
A “dressed” po’ boy has lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayonnaise; onions are optional. Non-seafood po’ boys will also usually have mustard; the customer is expected to specify “hot” or “regular”—the former being a coarse-grained Creole mustard and the latter being American yellow mustard.
The New Orleans roast beef po’ boy is generally served hot with gravy and resembles a Chicago Italian beef sandwich in appearance and method of preparation, although the size, bread, and toppings differ. To make it, a cut of beef (usually chuck or shoulder) is typically simmered in beef stock with seasonings such as garlic, pepper, thyme, and bay for several hours. The beef can be processed into “debris” by cutting it to shreds when done (folklore says that a po’ boy roast is done when it “falls apart with a hard stare”) and simmering the shredded beef in the pot for a longer time to absorb more of the juice and seasoning.
The sandwich was featured on the PBS special Sandwiches That You Will Like.

In the late 1800s fried oyster sandwiches on French loaves were known in New Orleans and San Francisco as “oyster loaves”, a term still in use. The sandwich was alternately called a “peacemaker” or “La Mediatrice”.
There are countless stories as to the origin of the term po’ boy. The more popular theory claims that “po’ boy” was coined in a New Orleans restaurant owned by Benny and Clovis Martin (originally from Raceland, LA), former streetcar conductors. In 1929, during a four-month strike against the streetcar company, the Martin brothers served their former colleagues free sandwiches. The Martins’ restaurant workers jokingly referred to the strikers as “poor boys”, and soon the sandwiches themselves took on the name. In Louisiana dialect, this is naturally shortened to “po’ boy.”

New Orleans is known for its grand restaurants, but more humble fare like the po’boy is very popular. Po’ boys may be made at home, sold pre-packaged in convenience stores, available at deli counters and most neighborhood restaurants. One of the most basic New Orleans restaurants is the po’ boy shop, and these shops often offer other dishes like red beans and rice and jambalaya. Many New Orleans neighborhood restaurants are in this mold offering po’ boys, seafood platters, and a number of basic Creole dishes: Tracie’s, Parkway Bakery, Maspero’s, Liuzza’s, Acme’s, Domilise’s, Parasol’s, Frankie and Johnnie’s, and Casamento’s.
In 1896, George Leidenheimer founded his bakery, Leidenheimer Baking Company, on Dryades Street. In 1904, the bakery moved to Simon Bolivar Avenue where the family business still operates, and is one of the primary sources of po’boy bread. There is fierce competition between po’boy shops, and resident opinions of the best po’boy shop varies widely.
Each year there is a festival in New Orleans dedicated to the po’boy, The Oak Street Po’Boy Festival. It is a one day festival that features live music, arts, and food vendors with multiple types of po’ boys. It is held in mid-November along a commercial strip of Oak Street in the city’s Carrollton neighborhood. The festival gives away “best-of” awards, which gives the chefs incentive to invent some of the most creative po’ boys.

Authentic versions of Louisiana style po’ boys can be found along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast—from Houston through the Florida panhandle. The term “po’ boy” has spread further and can be found on the Southeastern seaboard and in California, but may refer to variations on the local submarine sandwich.
In New Orleans a “Vietnamese Po’ boy” is another name for a Bánh mì sandwich. This variation can be found throughout the city owing to the influence of Vietnamese immigrants, who brought with them Vietnamese-French bakeries.

Tofu Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

June 14, 2012 at 5:06 PM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, low calorie, low carb, tofu, Turkey meatballs | 3 Comments
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Today’s Menu: Tofu Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

Tofu Spaghetti! This is a great Pasta substitute. I used House Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti Shaped. I rinsed and heated the Tofu by the instructions, which I left at the bottom of the post along with description and web links. Plus it’s only 20 calories and 3 carbs per serving! It comes packaged 2 servings per bag and with the low calories and low carbs you can have both servings for only 40 calories and 6 carbs. That’s a huge difference between whole wheat pasta and the tofu calorie and carb count. You’ll have to give this a try I think you’ll be surprised. I left the Tofu info and web site link at the bottom of the post.

For my sauce I used my favorite pasta Sauce, Bella Vita Low Carb Meat Flavored Pasta Sauce. If you watching the calories and carbs this sauce is the Bomb! Comes in Roasted Garlic and Meat Flavored and is only 70 calories and 6 carbs! The Meatballs were Honey Suckle White Turkey Meatballs. Love these Meatballs great flavor and they make a delicious Meatball Sub! They are 190 calories and 6 carbs per serving (3 Meatballs). I seasoned it with McCormick Grinder Italian Seasoning and topped everything with a sprinkle of Kraft Shredded Parm and Kraft 2% Shredded Sharp Cheddar. 330 Calories and 16 carbs for a Spaghetti Dinner, not including your bread. For dessert later a Yoplait Chocolate/Banana Smoothie.

 

House Tofu Shirataki.

Tofu Shirataki is a great pasta alternative made from blending the root of the Konnyaku – a member of the yam family and tofu.
It is a healthy, uniquely textured noodle – that pleases people of all ages!

VARIETY OF SHAPES:
Macaroni New!
Spaghetti
Fettuccine
Angel-Hair

*The Macaroni shape is available in only selected retailers.

LOW CARB – only 3g of carbs per serving
LOW CALORIE – 20 calories per 4 oz serving
FIBER – 2g per serving
NO CHOLESTEROL
NO SUGAR
GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE
CONTAINS 10% CALCIUM
VEGAN
KOSHER CERTIFIED

*TOFU SHIRATAKI CANNOT BE FROZEN

Directions:
Step 1: Empty your noodles into a strainer, and rinse them with water to get rid of the liquid they were packed in.

Step 2: Dry them as thoroughly as possible by blotting with paper towels — remove as much moisture as possible. We cannot stress enough how important this is.

Step 3: Cut them up a bit; they can be VERY long. (Fun fact: We once found a noodle that was six feet long!) Kitchen shears (scissors you use only for food) make this super-easy.

Step 4: Heat your noodles for a minute or two in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. (If microwaving, you may want to blot for liquid one more time before adding sauce.)

http://www.house-foods.com/Tofu/tofu_shirataki.aspx

http://www.hungry-girl.com/biteout/show/2157

Tofu Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

April 15, 2012 at 5:21 PM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, Honeysuckle White Turkey Products, low calorie, low carb, tofu, Turkey meatballs | 2 Comments
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Today’s Menu: Tofu Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

Tofu Spaghetti! Years ago I would have said “No Way” but now as I’m older and trying to eat more healthy this is great! I used House Food Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti Shaped Tofu. I made Mac & Cheese with Elbow Macaroni shaped Tofu a couple of weeks ago so I wanted to give Spaghetti and Meatballs a try. I heated the Tofu by the instructions, which I left at the bottom of the post along with description and web links.

For my sauce I used my favorite pasta Sauce, Bella Vita Low Carb Meat Flavored Pasta Sauce. If you watching the calories and carbs this sauce is the Bomb! Comes in Roasted Garlic and Meat Flavored and is only 70 calories and 6 carbs! The Meatballs were Honey Suckle White Turkey Meatballs. Love these Meatballs great flavor and they make a delicious Meatball Sub! They are 190 calories and 6 carbs per serving (3 Meatballs). I seasoned it with McCormick Grinder Italian Seasoning and topped everything with a sprinkle of Kraft Shredded Parm and Kraft 2% Shredded Sharp Cheddar. The nice part about this dinner, besides being delicious, is you can have a second helping and still have a low calorie and carb dinner. The one bag of Tofu makes more than enough for two people. For dessert/snack later a 100 Calorie Bag of Jolly Time Mini Bag of Pop Corn.

House Tofu Shirataki.
Tofu Shirataki is a great pasta alternative made from blending the root of the Konnyaku – a member of the yam family and tofu.
It is a healthy, uniquely textured noodle – that pleases people of all ages!

VARIETY OF SHAPES:
Macaroni New!
Spaghetti
Fettuccine
Angel-Hair

*The Macaroni shape is available in only selected retailers.

LOW CARB – only 3g of carbs per serving
LOW CALORIE – 20 calories per 4 oz serving
FIBER – 2g per serving
NO CHOLESTEROL
NO SUGAR
GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE
CONTAINS 10% CALCIUM
VEGAN
KOSHER CERTIFIED

*TOFU SHIRATAKI CANNOT BE FROZEN

Directions:
Step 1: Empty your noodles into a strainer, and rinse them with water to get rid of the liquid they were packed in.

Step 2: Dry them as thoroughly as possible by blotting with paper towels — remove as much moisture as possible. We cannot stress enough how important this is.

Step 3: Cut them up a bit; they can be VERY long. (Fun fact: We once found a noodle that was six feet long!) Kitchen shears (scissors you use only for food) make this super-easy.

Step 4: Heat your noodles for a minute or two in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. (If microwaving, you may want to blot for liquid one more time before adding sauce.)

http://www.house-foods.com/Tofu/tofu_shirataki.aspx

http://www.hungry-girl.com/biteout/show/2157

The Submarine Sandwich

July 29, 2011 at 12:29 PM | Posted in Food | 12 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I had a 6″ Turkey Sub on Whole Wheat for lunch today at a local Subway. It got me wondering about how the Sub originated. Here’s what I found.

A submarine sandwich, also known as a sub among other names, is a sandwich that consists of a long roll of Italian or French bread, split lengthwise either into two pieces or opened in a “V” on one side, and filled with various meats, cheeses, vegetables, seasonings, and sauces. The sandwich has no standardized name, and many U.S. regions have their own names for it; one study found 13 different names for the sandwich in the United States. The usage of the several terms varies regionally but not in any pattern, as they have been used variously by the people and enterprises who make and sell them. The terms submarine and sub are widespread and not assignable to any certain region, though many of the localized terms are clustered in the northeast United States, where the most Italian Americans live.

The sandwich originated in several different Italian American communities in the Northeastern United States from the late 19th to mid 20th centuries. The popularity of this Italian-American cuisine has grown from its origins in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts to spread to most parts of the United States, and with the advent of chain restaurants, is now available in many parts of the world. In Europe it would simply be known as a baguette, or a ciabatta, named after the type of bread being used. Both types of bread are traditional breads in use in France and Italy for centuries.

The use of the term submarine or sub is widespread. One theory is that it originated in a restaurant in Scollay Square in Boston, Massachusetts at the beginning of World War I. The sandwich was created to entice the large numbers of navy servicemen stationed at the Charlestown Navy Yard. The bread was a smaller specially baked baguette intended to resemble the hull of the submarines it was named after.

Many say that the name originates from Groton, Connecticut, where there is the largest United States Submarine factory. The sandwiches were commonly eaten by workers in the naval yard. Another theory suggests the submarine was brought to the US by Dominic Conti (1874–1954), an Italian immigrant who came to New York in the early 1900s. In 1910 he started Dominic Conti’s Grocery Store on Mill Street in Paterson, New Jersey and named the sandwich after seeing the recovered 1901 submarine called “Fenian Ram” in the local Paterson Museum in 1918. His granddaughter has stated the following: “My grandfather came to this country circa 1895 from Montella, Italy. Around 1910, he started his grocery store, called Dominic Conti’s Grocery Store, on Mill Street in Paterson, New Jersey where he was selling the traditional Italian sandwiches. His sandwiches were made from a recipe he brought with him from Italy which consisted of a long crust roll, filled with cold cuts, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, oil, vinegar, Italian herbs and spices, salt, and pepper. The sandwich started with a layer of cheese and ended with a layer of cheese (this was so the bread wouldn’t get soggy).”

The term hoagie originated in the Philadelphia area. Domenic Vitiello, professor of Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania asserts that Italians working at the World War I era shipyard in Philadelphia, known as Hog Island where emergency shipping was produced for the war effort, introduced the sandwich, by putting various meats, cheeses, and lettuce between two slices of bread. This became known as the “Hog Island” sandwich; hence, the “hoagie”.

The Philadelphia Almanac and Citizen’s Manual offers a different explanation, that the sandwich was created by early twentieth century street vendors called “hokey-pokey men”, who sold antipasto salad, along with meats and cookies. When Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta H.M.S. Pinafore opened in Philadelphia in 1879, bakeries produced a long loaf called the pinafore. Entrepreneurial “hokey-pokey men” sliced the loaf in half, stuffed it with antipasto salad, and sold the world’s first “hoagie”.

Another explanation is that the word “hoagie” arose in the late 19th-early 20th century, among the Italian community in South Philadelphia, when “on the hoke” was a slang used to describe a destitute person. Deli owners would give away scraps of cheeses and meats in an Italian bread-roll known as a “hokie”, but the Italian immigrants pronounced it “hoagie”.

Other less likely explanations involve “Hogan” (a nickname for Irish workers at the Hog Island shipyard), a reference to the pork or “hog” meat used in hoagies, “honky sandwich” (using a racial slur for white people seen eating them) or “hooky sandwich” (derived from “hookie” for truant kids seen eating them). Shortly after World War II, there were numerous varieties of the term in use throughout Philadelphia. By the 1940s, the spellings “hoagie” and, to a lesser extent, “hoagy” had come to dominate lesser user variations like “hoogie” and “hoggie”. By 1955, restaurants throughout the area were using the term “hoagie”, with many selling hoagies and subs or hoagies and pizza. Listings in Pittsburgh show hoagies arriving in 1961 and becoming widespread in that city by 1966.[12]

Former Philadelphia mayor (and later Pennsylvania governor) Ed Rendell declared the hoagie the “Official Sandwich of Philadelphia”. However, there are claims that the hoagie was actually a product of nearby Chester, Pennsylvania. DiCostanza’s in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania claims that the mother of DiConstanza’s owner originated the hoagie in 1925 in Chester. DiCostanza relates the story that a customer came into the family deli and through the series of the customers’ requests and the deli’s offerings, the hoagie was created.

A local Philadelphia variation on the hoagie is the zep made in Norristown, Pennsylvania. It is a variation on the traditional hoagie, with no lettuce and only one meat. It is made on a round roll, with provolone cheese covering meat, chunks of raw onion, and slabs of tomato. It is dressed with oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil, and hot pepper relish.

The New York term hero is first attested in 1937. The name is sometimes credited to the New York Herald Tribune food writer Clementine Paddleford in the 1930s, but there is no good evidence for this. It is also sometimes claimed that it is related to the gyro, but this is unlikely: heroes are invariably associated with Italians, not Greeks, and gyro was unknown in the United States until the 1960s.

“Hero” (Heros as the plural so not to be confused with the word “Heroes”) remains the prevailing New York City term for most sandwiches on an oblong roll with a generally Italian flavor, in addition to the original described above. Pizzeria menus often include eggplant parmigiana, chicken parmigiana, and meatball heroes, each served with tomato sauce. Pepper and egg heroes and potato and egg heroes are also popular.

All varieties of this sandwich use an oblong bread roll as opposed to sliced bread. The traditional sandwich usually includes a variety of Italian luncheon meats such as dry Genoa salami, mortadella, thin sliced pepperoni, capocollo or prosciutto, and provolone cheese served with lettuce, tomato and onions seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano and olive oil. American bologna is sometimes used in place of mortadella and ham is often substituted for capicola, with prosciutto frequently omitted.

Many locations that provide catering services also offer very large 3-foot and 6-foot “Giant” sandwiches. Crusty Italian breads are preferred for the hearty sandwiches.

Regional variations:

Grinder
* Grinders are sometimes made with toasted focaccia bread and melted mozzarella cheese.
* Both hot and cold sandwiches have been called “grinders”, though the term usually refers to a baked or toasted sandwich with sauce, such as a meatball grinder, eggplant grinder, chicken parmagiana grinder.

Hero
* Tomatoes were not a historical ingredient of the hero, but are often included in today’s heroes. Baltimore has usually preferred the term Hero, to nearby Philadelphia’s Hoagy and Washington DC’s Gryo. Italian communities existed in these cities.

Hoagie
* Philadelphia-style hoagies should have bread that is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.
* Quite often, much of the roll’s inside will be removed to allow for the ingredients to fit.
* Hoagies often have more than one deli meat (never fish or chicken).
* Mustard and vinegar were not traditionally used in hoagies. Mayonnaise is used more commonly in many sandwich shops around the area. The traditional dressing was olive oil. Other oils, possibly seasoned, or Italian dressing are sometimes used today.
* Sweet peppers are the default, though can be replaced with hot peppers

Zep
* A standard zep contains only cooked salami and provolone as the meat and cheese, and includes no lettuce.

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Your time is now. Eat Better Feel Better.

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