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View Diary: Thank God For Italians: Submarines, Grinders and there a difference? Yeah (175 comments)

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  •  Very geographic names (21+ / 0-)

    The New York area has subs.  One of the local chains is (or was, I haven't seen it lately but I don't live there) Blimpie; sometimes that was used as a generic term too.  I am not sure that your etymology of sub is correct, as the sandwich is shaped like a sub, or a blimp -- oblong, vs. square like an English-style sandwich.  But maybe I was just making an assumption.

    Northern New Jersey has great subs.  The best I ever had were at a long-gone shop that got its sub rolls from the Baldanza Bakery in Monmouth County.  That was a perfect Italian roll, crispy on the outside and soft, but with a bite, inside.  They are of course sliced top/bottom, though I have seen shops cutting second-rate sub rolls like hot dog rolls, open at the top.  Ugh.  The best sub ever had capicola, prosciutto, provolone, and the veggie toppings, with of course olive oil and vinegar.  Mayo on the other hand is just wrong for most subs.

    Southern NJ and Philly are hoagie country.  Same thing, different name.  Of course Philly is the home of the cheese steak.

    I first saw grinders as "hot oven grinders", so yes they were hot subs, often served by Greek pizzerias.  I eat them quite often here in the Boston area, where we have great Greek pizza and lots of it.  But they're also called subs here.  Grinder is a common term in upstate NY.

    I don't see hero sandwiches any more. I think the name is derived from the gyro, that popular Greek meat-on-a-vertical-spit that's typically served in pita with tzatziki (cucumber strained yoghurt).  The "g" in gyro is pronounced more like an h so the word actually sounds more like "hero", though Anglos often say "gyro" as in "gyroscope" (jie-row).

    But in Maine, they're called Italians.  So you can drive down a country road and come across a little shop that sells "pizza and Italians".  I suggest you stick to the lobster. ;-)

    •  and in New Orleans (7+ / 0-)

      Po' boys. So named as they were created and served to striking street car workers

      "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

      by azureblue on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:40:04 AM PDT

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    •  All of these have a unifying attribute. (8+ / 0-)

      They are long.  Even the New Awlins po'boy is long.  I happen to live in CT not too far from the sub base at Groton, and Electric Boat.  Submarines it is, but also grinders.  Hoagies not so much.  Anything on a round roll is none of the above.  It's just a sandwich.  Could be very good, mind you, but neither a sub, grinder, nor hoagie.

      I always thought 'hero' had to do with the accomplishment of eating the whole damn humongous thing.

      New Haven pizza is the best in the world, with Pepe's and Sally's on Wooster St., and Modern on Orange.  But we frequent a New Haven acolyte nearer to us run by Hungarians, when we don't make our own (which we think is actually better, to our amazement).

      Greek pizzas are quite good, but thin on the ground hereabouts.

      We go to different pizza joints for different pizzas---Pepe's for the tomato pie, Sally's for the white clam (a CT specialty), and a local place in Guilford, Bufala,  run by classmates (who studied cooking in Italy) of one of my kids for the leek and pancetta and scamorza.

      Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

      by triplepoint on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:56:11 AM PDT

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      •  At Manganero's Hero Boy on 40th & 8th (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the menu had the story that a journalist said "You'd have to be hero to eat a whole one"
        Everyone I knew called them "Heros" until I met people from outside New York City.
        just my $0.02

      •  New Haven Food (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Khun David

        The pizza IS the best I have ever had anywhere.

        Broadway Pizza, a Yale late night hangout for years, served hot tuna grinders covered with cheese and with the bread shattering as soon as you touched it.

        And then there's Louis' Lunch, which claims to have invented the hamburger.

        No wonder I gained weight as an undergrad.

        •  OMG, I had alot of pizza after drinking at Toad's (0+ / 0-)

          Place....then a walk down to my apartment on York....that was pretty awesome..

          The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

          by CTMET on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 06:14:08 PM PDT

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    •  I have an ongoing 'fight' with co-workers over (6+ / 0-)

      what an "Italian" is.  I am in Portland, ME.

      In Maine an Italian appears to be what Boston calls an "American" sub.  That is...a roll with ham, cheese, and condiments like onion, pepper, and then olive oil.  There is absolutely nothing Italian about it.

      In Boston an Italian sub has Italian meats, cheeses and condiments:  salami, capicola, mortadella, provolone, pepperoncini.  And you order  with everything on it  including hots.  Yum!

      Maine does not know what an Italian is.  Folks here need to visit the North End to experience a real Italian.

      I fall down, I get up, I keep dancing.

      by DamselleFly on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:50:33 AM PDT

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    •  In Atlantic City (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      they were always called subs (the White House Sub Shop made the best on earth!) but just a few miles inland the Philadelphian "hoagie" took over.  Same sandwich, different name.

      I was always confused by this as a lad, but then, I was confused by a lot of things.  :)

      The American Indian: Fighting Foreign Terrorism Since 1492.

      by penguins4peace on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:47:53 AM PDT

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      •  I'll second that. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        penguins4peace, henlesloop

        Had a White House sub a few years ago while attending a trade show in A.C. Absolutely the best I've ever tasted (and I've been all over the world).

        Even though I am disappointed at some of his actions, I am thankful every day that Barack Obama is President and not George Bush and certainly not John McCain.

        by gritsngumbo on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 02:15:29 PM PDT

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    •  Italians in Maine (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Keith930, historys mysteries

      are in a league of their own, especially if made by the old Portland family, Amato. Great bread, ham, cheese, onions, peppers, tomatoes...pickles and olives, if you like. Only covered with olive oil, no vinegar. The original shop is down by the waterfront as well!

    •  Heros are not Gyros. Gyros are made from (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kayak58, Thestral, grover

      lamb that is cooked and sliced vertically. Heros are like sub sandwiches. But if you want real food try a Chicago Italian Beef sandwich on an Italian roll dipped in juice. With or without sport peppers. As good as the world famous Chicago pizza and the world famous Chicago Hot Dog. The Triple Crown of Chicago cuisine.

      And all Italian American. The thin Chicago pizza with a crispy crust is a match for the stuffed Chicago pizza. And yes I am a fan of New York pizza and New York hot dogs also. I am not a complete homer.

    •  Tiny regional quirk (0+ / 0-)

      In parts of Westchester County north of NYC, hoagies are called "wedges."  You order a sandwich and the shopkeeper says "roll or wedge"---small or large.

      And speaking of bad pizza, in my town pizza is made in the high school cafeteria style.  You order a pizza and the shopkeeper says "half sheet or whole sheet?"

      You'd think a college town would have better pizzerias, but it turns out that college students will eat anything.

      My head says "No" but my heart says "Yes". And then my liver says "What?" and my butt's all like "Farrrrrrt" --jbou

      by Caj on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 05:04:22 PM PDT

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      •  I grew up on "wedges," too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        From mid-Westchester.  It was a hero, sub, hoagie, etc.  Seems to be used from somewhere in mid- to northern Westchester, maybe up into Putnam county.  However, I've heard... somewhere... that the term originated at an Italian sandwich shop in Yonkers; don't know whether that's true, but I suspect not.

        I think it more likely dates back to farming days, when bread and cheese would be served on "wedges" of bread cut from a large loaf.  It was clearly a term that had been around a long while in the area, when I was a kid in the early '60s; old-timers certainly used it.

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