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May 5th is National Hoagie Day

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If you're looking for something to do today then I hope you're hungry because it's National Hoagie Day!  Call it what you want to call it but it's a big sandwich!  Let's get right into celebrating National Hoagie Day!

WHY IS THIS A HOLIDAY?  

Today is a holiday because almost every single person in the world will have eaten a hoagie at some point in their life. You can call it a sub, submarine sandwich, hero or, as I like to call it, a hoagie and then you may proceed to call it yum. People love these giant sandwiches so much that they're just asking to be celebrated. I mean it is a hero, right?  Hoagies started to pop up in Italian neighborhoods in the Northeastern areas of the United States back in the late 19th to mid 20th centuries. But the name hoagie sprouted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania... the state where I have lived most of my life. And Ed Rendell, the former Philadelphia mayor, actually declared the hoagie the official sandwich of Philadelphia.  But they're really not sure why it's called a hoagie. Some people think that Italian-Americans working in a shipyard known as Hog Island introduced the sandwich. Their sandwich consisted of meats, cheese and lettuce in between two slices of bread. But others think that street vendors called "hokey-poke men" created the sandwich when the operetta H.M.S. Pinafore came to town. Bakeries in the area started making long loaves of bread called pinafores and the the street vendors sliced them open and stuffed them with antipasto salad.  And another explanation comes from the slang term "on the hoke" which referred to people in South Philly who were in poverty. The local delis would give away scraps of meats and cheeses and pop them on Italian rolls called a hokie, but an Italian immigrant would have pronounced it hoagie.  Either way, it's a great sandwich that I'm happy to chomp on!

HOW TO CELEBRATE 

So how can you celebrate today?  Well, you're going to have no problem celebrating because there are actual franchises dedicated to this sandwich.  Does Subway or Quiznos ring a bell?  So feel free to head on over to either of those places and order up any type of hoagie your heart desires.  And hey, maybe you should get two of them... get one that you'd normally order and get another one that's filled with things you've never eaten before.  You only live once, right?  And you can also get hoagies at tons of different local restaurants, delis and grocery stores, so you won't be limited on options.  Some places bake their own loaves of bread and have some of the freshest meats, cheeses and other hoagie toppings just waiting to be eaten.  Big franchises aren't always the best option ;).  But if you feel like doing things yourself and maybe having a hoagie party at your place then grab up a bunch of hoagie rolls, meats, cheeses, veggies, condiments and whatever else you like on your hoagies.  Lay everything out on the table and let everyone put their own sandwich together.  And may I recommend that you lay your hoagie open on a cookie sheet and bake your hoagies, one at a time, at 400 degrees for 7 minutes.  This will crisp up the outer edge of the roll while keeping the inside nice and fluffy while melting your cheese.  If you opt to do this then wait until after you bake it to add your vegetables and condiments.  Enjoy your day and your giant sandwiches!





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