Tag Archives: Sub

The Regional Italian and Submarine Sandwiches of America: Midwest and West Coast

“We just wanted to write about sub sandwiches.  That’s safe, right?  Delicious, universally loved sub sandwiches.  Then the madness came.  Then the darkness fell.  Then came the Sarney.”

~Found Footage From the Ruins of the Building That Once Housed AFFotD’s Main Office

iitalian sammich

When we started this journey, we were happy.  We were unified.  We were just sitting around the writer’s table, adding whiskey to our coffee (office culture dictates that you can’t drink hard unmixed hard alcohol until at least eleven in the morning), laughing, loving.  Living.  Then, in walked Johnny Roosevelt, our Editor-in-Chief and winner of 2013’s “drunkest at our Christmas party” award.

“Ladies.  Gentlemen.  Ghosts of the cool Presidents that would have been considered alcoholics in today’s society.  We haven’t really talked about sandwiches much, have we?”

And hell followed.

It seemed simple enough.  We would just write about all the sandwiches we could think of that are served in long rolls.  Basically, variation of submarine and Italian sandwiches, a cornerstone of our culture.  We started with the East Coast to cover subs and Italians, and followed it up with Pennsylvania sandwiches so we could write about hoagies and cheesesteaks.  We didn’t need to get into dagwood territory, because writing about various sliced bread sandwiches would easily creep into the mundane, and also fuck Dagwood Bumstead.

Then the voices came.

“Tunnels.  Bombers.  Torpedoes.  Barb fucking Mills.  Try as you might, you will not find them.  They only exist in name to haunt you.  Your charge is futile.  Your destiny is pointless.”

Anyway, here are some motherfucking sandwiches from the motherfucking Midwest and West Coast and we guarantee we’ll come across another non-existent sandwich and we will lose our motherfucking minds.

The Regional Italian and Submarine Sandwiches of America: Midwest and West Coast

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The Regional Italian and Submarine Sandwiches of America: Pennsylvania

“Huh, so apparently there IS such a thing as eating too many sandwiches…”

~AFFotD Editor-in-Chief, Johnny Roosevelt, shortly before getting his stomach pumped

big old sandwich

As mentioned in our previous post, the simple concept of “a sandwich on a long roll of bread stuffed with cold cuts and condiments” has expanded well beyond our wildest dreams.  While many of these variations are all words for the same thing (the submarine begat the hero begat the grinder begat pointless regional squabbles about lexicon and so forth) these linguistic shifts have also helped create entirely new sandwiches made to be stuffed into submarine or Italian bread and embraced as a regional dish so fervently that even New Yorkers sometimes have to step in and go, “Woah, easy there,  Philadelphia, we get you invented it, but people are allowed to add different things to a fucking cheesesteak.”

Ha, just kidding, they’d never say that, they’re too busy trying to pretend they make the nation’s best hot dogs because…what, they’re sold in carts?  Because it’s easy to go to a cart and have someone scoop out a three day old frank and top it with sauerkraut and mustard and that somehow makes your hot dog “supreme” to, say, every other type of hot dog that at least tries?  Get off your fucking high horse, goddamn you.

Okay, sorry, back on track.  Anyway, for whatever reason, the state of Pennsylvania accounts for like, 40% of all the sandwiches on rolls of the entire East Coast, so we decided to give them their own section in our series on…

The Regional Italian and Submarine Sandwiches of America:  Pennsylvania

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The Regional Italian and Submarine Sandwiches of America: New England and New York

“Subway—it’s..it’s fine. I mean, it’s Subway.  It was open.”

~Rejected slogan for Subway

sub sammich

For nearly a century, the Americanized Italian sandwich has played a pivotal role in filling our bellies efficiently and deliciously.  Cold cuts, cheese, lettuce, onion, and tomato, all shoved into a sliced loaf of Italian bread and drizzled with oil and seasoning, has long been the default, “I don’t know what I feel like for lunch, eh, I’ll just get a sandwich” lunch choice for generations of workers.

Widely known as the Submarine Sandwich, it goes by about 17 different names in different regions throughout America, with dozens of additional variants from people who want hot sandwiches or beef doused in it’s own juices in elongated sandwich form.  While many long roll sandwiches end to differ in name only (subs, meet hoagies, you are the same), others are radically different and even manage the eschew cold cuts entirely, but all are delicious and American.  So instead of awkwardly stumbling through the history of the “submarine, or, uh, grinder, or, uh…” sandwich, we’re going to look into each type of this classic meat delivery system in the hopes that, that by showing our differences, we can bring our nation together.  By spending some 11,000 words talking about sandwiches that are shoved into Italian bread or rolls over the course of four articles.  We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, over 25 types of sandwiches total, but first, let’s start from the beginning.

The Regional Italian and Submarine Sandwiches of America:  New England and New York

sangwitch

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