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~Hoagies, Heros, Grinders & Submarine Sandwiches~

IMG_3878 2Me on any given day.  Grab two slices of super-fresh bread.  Layer of some thin-sliced meat and cheese on top of one of them.  Add, almost always, a slice of onion and tomato along with a leafy green, plop the top on it, and, I'm in sandwich heaven.  When asked what food I couldn't live without, the sandwich is always my answer.  'Tis true, I can slap almost anything between two slices of bread, slather it with some sort of a spread, sauce or dressing and make it taste really, really good.  On days when I swap out the bread for a round or elongated roll, in my book, that's a great big day -- it's still a sandwich (don't roll your eyes, it is), only way, way better. 

IMG_3869Hoagies, Grinders & Subs.  Whatever you choose to call them, on-line research will reveal that each has a distinct origin.

Depending on where you're from, these long, over-stuffed sandwiches, each with its own nuances and origin, are known by other names too:  blimp, zeppelin, torpedo, spuckie, bomber -- and there's likely a few more that I missed too.  What they all have in common is a high-quality, not-too-firm, not-too-soft roll, stuffed with lots of meat, cheese, veggie fixings and dressing.  Some are a long 12"-16", some are a short 6"-10", some are served cold and others are served hot, but, "sub" is probably the most widely used name that everyone is familiar with -- and so named for its resemblance to a submarine.  That said, growing up in Eastern PA, they were hoagies.  When I moved to Central PA, I learned quickly to order a sub from our local sandwich shops.

IMG_3895Hoagie:  These "sub" sandwiches are associated with the Italian-American culture, and, in hoagie land, they typically refer to sandwiches containing cold deli-meats and cheeses.  It's said they were named by the Italian immigrants who worked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, once known as Hog Island.  The workers were know as "hoggies" which naturally transitioned to "hoagies".

Hero:  This is the word you'll hear throughout the New York area.  In my experience, these "sub" sandwiches, which contain a wide range and long list of ingredients, can be served hot or cold, are the quintessential definition of oversized and overstuffed -- they're huge.  It said the name implies the heroic effort it takes to eat one, and the hero is the person who can actually finish one.

Grinder:  This is the word you will hear a lot if you travel into or thru New England.  These "sub" sandwiches, which can be served hot or cold, while they can be filled with cold cuts and cheeses, tend to be filled with items like grilled and thinly-sliced meats, poultry or meatballs, then baked to melt the cheese.  It's said the name refers to the fact that they require a lot of grinding or chewing.

Sub:  It is this writer's opinion that the word "sub" is pretty much ubiquitous nationwide.  It's the all-purpose word that everyone understands and no one is confused by.  As stated above, there are long subs, short subs, hot subs and cold subs, but, when one orders sub, there are no misconceptions about what you are about to partake in -- a fantastic sandwich.

Incredible Edible Caprese Chicken Meatball Subs:

IMG_3840South African Steak, Stilton & Peppadew Mayo Subs:

IMG_3815Sweet, Succulent & Snowy-White King Crab Subs:

IMG_3749Batter-Dipped Buffalo Chicken & Blue Cheese Subs:

IMG_3589Not Your Mama's Chicken-Parm Garlic-Bread Subs:

IMG_3466Tex-Mex Chipotle Beef and Chorizo Meatball Subs:

IMG_3522Brownbag it with Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Subs:

IMG_3316Mel's Bone-Suckin' Copycat-McRib & Onion Subs:

IMG_3943"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019)


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