There’s a Reason Why South Jersey Calls Them Hoagies
October 9th is Submarine-Hero-Hoagie-Grinder day!
As all of South Jersey knows, it's actually called a Hoagie. Don't let any of these impostors fool you.
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?
Okay then, let's get to the important question. With all the names that exist for a footlong, why does South Jersey call them 'Hoagies'?
Legend has it that the term was coined from workers at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Workers known as "hoggies" used to work on Hogg Island, which is where the term originated. Now, 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.