There’s a Reason Why Parts Of South Jersey Call Them Hoagies
On October 9th, it'll be Submarine-Hero-Hoagie-Grinder day!
As many parts of South Jersey know, it's actually called a Hoagie. Don't let any of these impostors fool you. If you call it a "sub," well, that's fine, I guess, but you'll never hear me uttering that word. Guess that's because I hail from the western part of South Jersey.
What is a hoagie? It's a big Italian sandwich on a long roll made with lettuce, tomato, onion, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and oregano. Probably didn't need to mention what it is, right?
With all the names that exist for a footlong, why do some regions of South Jersey call them 'Hoagies', but others still say "sub"?
Legend has it that the term was coined by workers at the Philadelphia Navy Yard Workers known as "hoggies" because they used to work on Hogg Island. Most of the workers during this time were of Irish descent. If you're familiar with any Irish pronunciations, you know that "Hogg" is actually pronounced with a long 'O' sound - making it sound like "Hoag Island." The sandwich became known as a "hoagie" because the "hoggies" who worked on Hogg Island would bring these every day for lunch.
BonAppetit.com reports, however, that the timeline of this story doesn't add up to when hoagies started gaining popularity. According to them, Hogg Island shut down in the 20s. Hoagies didn't show up in publication until the 40s.
A deli shop owner, Al De Palma, was reportedly quoted saying, "only a hog would eat that big of a sandwich." So, when he started serving them, he called them "hoggies," and the Philly accent took it from there, leaving us with the term "hoagie."
So, there you have it: two supposed legends of our beloved footlong sandwich! Whatever the true origin, we're just thankful for their existence! So, when's the next hoagiefest? Now, I'm hungry.