The Secret of the Hoagie

Here’s the thing you need to know about the perfect sandwich.

The secret lies in the bread.

In my family, we have a thing. You know, a food that we’re known for. Or, at least, we’re know for within our family. It’s a hoagie. Specifically, my grandpa’s hoagie. And my pawpaw does NOT mess around with his hoagies.

For those of you uninformed, a hoagie is a Philly/South Jersey specialty. Which conveniently, is where my grandparents are from. And there’s multiple stories of where the hoagie came from. All I know is it is delicious. Take your heroes, take your subs- just leave me a hoagie.

We’ve been eating hoagies for as long as I can remember. And then, before that because I’m only 23. While other people in the family know how to make them, we all call and brag when we get one made by the master (while my grandfather claims to be the master of many things, I will give him this one)

The number one priority in making hoagies is the bread. It has to be crusty, but not stale. It can’t break across the middle. You have to be able to scoop some of the insides out.

Once, I was made a hoagie with subpar bread. I’m pretty sure the only reasons that it wasn’t taken away right then was because 1. it was snowing and 2. the grocery store didn’t have any more bread. Before I could eat the leftovers the next day, we had to go to the store to get new bread, upon which the filling was pulled out of the old hoagie and placed into the new bread.

And often the search for the bread takes a while. I’m pretty sure that once I was driven around the area in which my grandparents live and visited all of the grocery stores. And the bakery.

The number 1.5 priority in a hoagie is the slicing of everything. It has to be paper thin, and then cut in half. If your deli is pre-cut, you’re out. I’ve ordered meat to be cut “as thin as possible, and then go thinner.” At the deli counter, it’s you need to obtain quality salami, ham and capicola. And provolone. Did I mention it ALL needs to be sliced as thin as possible? (The guys at the deli LOVE us.)

Other ingredients include onions, tomatoes (sliced as thin as you can get them),  lettuce, cherry peppers, olive oil and salt/pepper/oregano.

(It’s a very specific act in getting the ingredients together for a hoagie. For my immediate family, we have to go to no less than 3 stores, the furthest being 40 minutes away.)

There, I just gave you the recipe. And your sandwich will NOT be as good as this one:

(pretty sure this was the subpar bread one. Whatever, it was still more delicious than any sub you can get at Subway.)

Daily Post prompt: Describe the perfect sandwich.  You have up to $5,000 to spend. Be creative. (psh. I don’t need $5000 for the perfect sandwich.)

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