Nobody's noded hoagie yet.




I only lived in Philly for four or five years, but according to my limited understanding, a hoagie is composed of the following:

It all goes in an oblong roll -- ideally from the Amoroso bakery -- and I've been told that in principle it should be prepared by somebody from Souf Phiwwy who says "Ey, yo, Ant'ny". I can't vouch for that.

Elsewhere in the country they'll sell you things called "Italian subs", usually made with American "cheese", balogna, and Polish ham. That's just plain wrong, in so many ways that I can't bear to start counting. It's a hard, cruel world out here, at least around lunchtime. It's not just hoagies, either: If you ask for a cheesesteak in Boston, they'll look at you like you're a Martian. You have to say "steak and cheese", and then they stop muttering.

Etymologically, I've read that the word "hoagie" comes from Hog Island, apparently an island somewhere near the Philadelphia Navy Yard or some other shipyard in the area, where somebody many decades ago started selling antipasto in hollowed-out bread. It's as good a theory as any.