May 5, 2013

National Hoagie Day

“Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world -- except for a nice MLT -- mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is lean and the tomato is ripe.” - Miracle Max, "The Princess Bride"

It's National Hoagie Day!

There's some serious debate about the origin of the word "hoagie"; then again, many of our country's favorite foods have dubious histories. The go-to story is that the sandwich may have began on Hog Island, an area formerly situated outside of Philly which hosted a shipyard during WWI where Italian immigrants - known as "Hoggies" - would bring thick rolls filled with deli meat, veg, peppers, and oil for lunch. There are two similar stories that link the "hoagie" to Hog Island, too; one states that a man eating lunch was approached by his friend, Hogan, who asked if the wife of the guy eating would make him a sandwich, too. The third story involves a fella named Al DePalma. He saw the men at the Hog Island shipyard stuffing their faces with giant sandwiches and thought that they looked "like hogs". He opened a restaurant and served similar sandwiches (and eventually DePalma became known as "The King of the Hoggies", too). The common denominator in all three stories is that, overtime, the name morphed - for whatever reason - from "hoggie" to "hoagie".

And now you're all the wiser, foodies.

How will you celebrate today? I chowed down on a whole wheat roll filled with lettuce, tomato, onions, pepperoncini, Lightlife Baked Ham Style Slices, Italian Tofurky Deli Slices, and an olive oil, red wine vinegar, and oregano dressing. I ate all twelve inches of this sandwich, and y'know what? That's okay, especially today when you're supposed to eat like a little piggy.

Oink. Oink. Noms.

Happy National Hoagie Day!