Perfect Italian Hoagie?

When I was a kid and we visited family in New Jersey, I loved getting hoagie sandwiches. I’ve been looking for the best recipe of Italian hoagie for years. Here’s one that’s very good:

3 slices Provolone
4 slices Genoa salami
4 slices cooked salami
4 slices pepperoni
4 slices Capicola ham
Lettuce, tomato, onion
Salt, pepper, and oregano
Oil and vinegar
Sweet peppers (or hot peppers)

Anybody want to chime in with their formula for the perfect Italian hoagie?

125 Responses to Perfect Italian Hoagie? (Leave a comment)

  1. Rob

    Wow Matt… salami, pepperoni, ham, provolone AND extra salt? Whats the heart rating for that mixture? :) Mind you, it DOES have lettuce, tomato and onion – so if we ignore the other ingredients, its a very healthy meal :)

  2. You forgot to mention the bread! Bread selection is VERY important and it has to be fresh in order to squish all of the above into your mouth. Yeast bread in the form of hoagie rolls is best but if in a pinch a section of a long French bread is also good but one might have to take some of the soft center out to accomodate all the meats/cheese. My father, who made Italian sandwiches for blue collar workers in his grocery and meat store in NJ, used pizza bread which I haven’t seen since childhood. Does it still exist? And the oil should be olive – yes?

  3. If you do go for the spicy peppers, next time you’re visiting the Google office in Seattle, pick up a jar of Mama Lil’s Peppers (http://www.mamalils.com/). so good

  4. I’m italian and your strong formula is perfect…very good!

  5. Not sure you can improve too much on that, except for experimenting with the hoagie roll itself. Like a sun dried tomato and basil roll…. Yumm.

  6. Sounds about right. The most important thing (and you’re missing) is good bread. True Italian bread is necessary. In the NJ/PA area you have D’Ambrosio and Amoroso’s Baking (whose bread is used by several popular cheesesteak institutions).

    Don’t ignore quality bread quality. To dense and it’s a heavy mess of a sandwich. To light and it falls apart. Either extreme and oil and vinegar doesn’t soak right (to much or not at all, should moisten not get soggy).

  7. You should add some slice of Spam… :D
    Ok, put down the cursing magic wand, i was joking!
    As far as i can say, you have an unbalanced mix: there’s too much pig in this sandwich and the pepperoni would probably overpower the other ingredients in terms of spicyness. I would remove it and replace it with some slices of cooked eggplant or zucchini.
    By the way, drizzle some drops of vinegar on the crumb (lower and upper) before adding ingredients. Better yet: if you can get an hold of authentic italian balsamic vinegar (not the cream, which is too sweet) you won’t regret it.
    ciao! :D

  8. Robert Baker

    Hi,
    If you switch to mouse meat (take 1 kilo, put it in your oven, 12 hours, 75 degree, then put it in salt water 5 houres) slice it up thin. That would be a sandwitch !

  9. Robert Baker

    sorry, I mean moose !

  10. MaryAnn Potts

    I agree about the bread. Bread makes the hoagie. Sarcones seeded bread from 9th Street in Philadelphia, is about the best you can do. The other thing to be sure of is that you are using quality lunch meats. Boars Head is top of the line.

    Other than that, I think you have it covered!!

  11. Dan McCullough

    like Robert said Bread should be D’Ambrosio or Amoroso’s. being from Philly its not the steak or the cheese that makes the cheesesteak, its the bread. I would add banana peppers to the italian hoagie.

  12. JimS

    I agree with Robert. The bread is the key. Nothing quite like a hoagie on an Amoroso’s roll. YUM!

    You will also want to try smearing some Hoagie Spread on it for little kick…
    http://www.louiesrestaurant.com/Tallaricos-Hot-Hoagie-Spread-12-oz-Jar-P15.aspx

  13. Rus Wetherill

    Yes, the right roll is the key as @Robert Accettura states. You really can’t get them outside the greater Philadelphia area. It’s the water.

    I prefer sharp provolone and could pass on the pepperoni. Another key is how it is built. You need to squirt some olive oil on the roll before anything goes on it. I prefer a liberal dousing. Then layer genoa salami, provolone, cooked salami, cappicola, tomatoe, lettuce, onion, salt-pepper-oregano, and finally a good squirt of olive-oil/wine vinegar mix.

  14. Riccardo

    Too much stuff in there!
    The best one is:
    Tomato, Mozzarella, Lettuce, pepper, olive oil and origano.

    Simple but beautiful.

    Ciao!

  15. I see the health phase has past :)

  16. Did you find the receipe using Google Search? ;)

  17. The best Hoagies are still at The Whitehouse Subs in Atlantic City, next time you are there Matt take the crew there you will be very very impressed

  18. that looks about right, you could swap out the regular onions for some sweet onions if you wanted too.

    However it’s called a sub not a hoagie, next thing you know you’ll order a pop ;-)

  19. Matt,

    Which exit was your family in New Jersey? That’s the funny way to tell other Jersey boys and girls a location.

    Now, since Google is all about what’s most relevant, let’s talk what’s most relevant about HOAGIES. (Thanks Matt for knowing the real deal is not called a “sub.”) The foundation for a good hoagie or cheese steak is simple. It’s all about the rolls!

    I’m a Philly native living in Arizona. My friend, I’d possibly bite your hand if it had an Amoroso roll in it!

  20. Well, I’m not from Jersey, but everyone has a Subway close.

    “The Perfect Italian Sub(way)” **$5 Footlong**

    Spicy Italian on Italian herbs and cheese bread.
    Provalone cheese
    Toasted
    Lettuce, olives, onions, green peppers.
    Salt & pepper, Oil and vinegar.
    Southwest Chipotle Sauce.

  21. I’d do the sweet peppers grilled with some onion.

  22. Tom

    As a South Jersey ex-patriot in Silicon Valley… you’re making me hungry!

    Robert Accettura hit the nail on the head… the thing that is next to impossible outside of the Philadelphia area is the right bread. There is a chain of shops in Southern California (Philly’s Best) that actually flies Amoroso rolls in daily (rolls must be fresh… eaten within 24 hours of leaving the oven). We may have to try Calvin’s on The Alameda in San Jose… it looks promising.

    Assuming you can find some “hoagie rolls” that approximate the genuine article… your recipe is close. Lose the pepperoni. Onions and peppers are optional. Salt and pepper are optional… not usually added. Oregano, oil and vinegar are recommended. Whole leaf lettuce and fresh ripe tomatoes. For the ultimate hoagie (recipe courtesy of Abner’s at 38th and Chestnut)… add a couple of slices of prosciutto ham.

    Graywolf – further north it’s called a sub. But in the Philly area it’s definitely a hoagie.

  23. I can only get two of the following ingredients at a regular supermarket in Beijing. Guess which ones?

    3 slices roast beef
    3 slices honey baked turkey
    3 slices Munster cheese
    3 slices sharp cheddar
    Sliced green olives
    Spinach leaves
    Sliced tomatoes
    Honey mustard
    Mayonnaise optional
    Fresh baked sunflower seed bread

  24. Thanks for the flash back to my days growing up back east in Philly and Jersey. I do miss the hoagies (not subs), the thin greasy pizza and the Philly cheese steaks. One thing I would add is a little mayo and the mummers parade in the background while I’m eating it.

  25. All this talk of food, made me hungry. Cos it’s late at night and the stores are closed, i’m gonna make myself and ordinary cheese and salami sandwich. Guess it’ll have to do the trick.

  26. India Starker

    Mmm that reminds me of my childhood too. But I got mine in P-town in the summer in the seventies. The tomatoes were really really red and sliced really thin. Hard to find a good tomato these days. ‘Course we’d order a tonic to go with that. Not pop.

  27. Lettuce ruins an Italian sub. My perfect sub is:

    Genoa Salami; Capicola; Mortadella; Provologne
    Tomatos, Onions, Pickles all diced in small cubes
    Oregano; Olive oil; Hot Peppers optional.

    …and of course a good, fresh sub roll is key.

  28. gda

    Being an Italian it is quite strange to admit that I have absolutely no idea what are the “Genoa salami” and the “Capicola ham”.

    But I’m ready to believe that it is a really a perfect [maybe] Italian Hoagie. :-)

  29. C’mon Matt, talk about the new Google Phone! We know you have one…..

  30. Looks like solid recipe Matt, but… To toast or not to toast? That is the question. :P

  31. Dan

    Thansk for making me hungry before the Eagles – Giants gamee!

    To me, there’s no chance of recreation at home in Santa Monica. Need to go to Phila!

  32. Add sub-mix. it has pickles and onions oil and vinegar all chopped up fine, chop up the peppers in there too, and don’t be a wuss, make it HOT!!!

  33. EGOL

    When I was in college there was a restaurant named “Alfanos” and they had a fantastic HOT “hoagie-style” sandwich (name “The Alfano”… of course!). It was on a big Italian roll and had almost the same ingredients as Matt listed but….

    Genoa salami (fried)
    pepperoni (fried)
    Capicola ham (fried)
    one egg (fried)
    Provolone
    Lettuce, tomato, onion
    Salt, pepper, and oregano
    Sweet peppers
    mustard on the top bun
    mayo on the bottom bun

    They were great… making it yourself is easy… First prepare the bun while your big skillet heats… start frying the meats… slide them around the pan to oil it… add the egg on the side… flip the meats, flip the egg, stack the meats, put the egg on top… add the cheese… lift to the prepared bun… top with the rest. WOW!

  34. 4 slices Genoa salami
    4 slices cooked salami
    4 slices pepperoni
    4 slices Capicola ham

    Wow! That’s a lot of meat!

    I always felt that the drink made the meal. In my younger days
    that would have been a cold beer, now it would be a cold Coke.

    I would add one roll of Rolaids and give it hell.

    Bompa

  35. Jaason

    I didn’t knew this sandwich ;] I’ll try this soon ;]

  36. Hoggie, Sub, is not what Italians eat… :) but your sandwich sound very umm buono and filling. I will have to try it.

  37. simo

    1x salad leaf
    3x slices Parma ham
    1x slice Pecorino sardo (very tasty, instead you can try 1x Mozzarella (fresca) for an easier flavor)
    fresh bread

    njoy!

  38. In this season put always “olive verdi ammaccate”…gorgeous!

  39. tea

    Lettuce ruins an Italian sub…

  40. 3 slices Provolone
    4 slices Genoa salami
    4 slices cooked salami
    4 slices pepperoni
    4 slices Capicola ham

  41. You forgot the prosciutto.

  42. there is truly in our world only ONE hoagie, and that’s the New Orleans Muffaletta…and here’s a great recipe for same –
    1 10″ round loaf Italian bread with Sesame seeds
    1 Recipe Olive Salad
    1/4 lb Genoa Salami
    1/4 lb Hot Capicola
    1/4 lb Mortadella
    1/4 lb Mozzarella
    1/4 lb Provolone

    Assembly:
    Cut the bread in half length wise. Brush both sides with the oil from your 1 week old olive salad, go a little heavier on the bottom. Layer half of the salami on the bottom half of bread. Then the Mortadella. Then the Mozzarella, then the Capicola, Provolone, and the remainder of salami. Top this with the olive salad. Put the lid on and press it down without smashing the bread. Quarter it. You’ve just created pure heaven!!!!
    :-)

    Jim

    PS they say that this will feed 4, or 2 big eaters…but I’ve seen some guys eat the whole thing themselves, washed down with Rolling Rocks, eh!

  43. The real key is to have FRESH ingredients and to not go crazy on the oil. Too much oil = soggy bread, and soggy bread = sadness.

  44. LOL, I can recall some great conversations on:
    Sub
    Grinder
    Hoagie
    Po-boy
    All meaning the same thing but representing different regions in the United States. People get crazy about it. I need to check Google trends to find out which one is the search leader.
    Jim’s New Orleans Muffaletta sounds like a great “appetizer” ;)

  45. If you’re ever in Killington Vermont and looking for a great Italian “Grinder”, head into town and find Gill’s Delicatessen. Great memories of picking up a bunch of Italian Grinders to bring to the Saturday HS Football games. But they don’t call it an Italian Grinder (or sub or hoagie, it’s just a Grinder with HOT ITALIAN MEATS and we all knew what that meant. Of course it includes the provolone cheese, seasoned oil and vinegar, etc.

  46. Damian

    okay – hoagie means big sandwich i’m guessing. is there anything else to it apart from that?

  47. Us Brits had to look up Hoagie on Google.
    A chip butty wins over this side of the pond.
    Julie

  48. Philly is the home of the hoagie amigo! If you ever come through here, we shall show you the hoagie in all its greatness.

  49. Matt, next time you fly into Burbank stop at Giamela’s
    It has been there for about 50 years and it is amazing.

  50. We have some really good ‘subs’ down here too, in South Jersey. Actually, this is making me hungry …

  51. Dan

    Never heard of them, but sounds nice!

  52. Carl

    That looks like a formula for a heart attack, not a perfect hoagie!

  53. CJ

    These recipes are amazing! The perfect toppings include peppercinis and olives with extra olive oil, salt and pepper. Great post Matt!

  54. Dave

    Hey Matt,
    When you hit I’m feeling lucky with nothing in the box it shows a 6 day counter. What happens in 6 days? It’s ok you can tell me…

  55. Carl, the “perfect Hoagie” will precipitate a heart attack.

  56. It seems to be delicious !

    I thought you will talk about hRecipe format :)

  57. I guess that’s why obesity is a big problem in America. The food there is mostly so unhealthy – fatty and greasy, compared to our Asian diet.

  58. Wow! This brings back fine memories of being a kid — my uncle used to make some serious Hoagies! I haven’t had one in years now that I think of it. Perhaps it’s the perfect idea for dinner!

  59. Vinny

    Matt,
    Couple of days late, but here it is
    3 slices Provolone
    4 slices of prosciutto
    4 slices Genoa salami
    4 slices Soppresata
    4 slices pepperoni
    4 slices Capicola ham
    Lettuce, tomato, onion
    Salt, pepper, and oregano
    Oil and vinegar
    Sweet peppers (or hot peppers)

    All on a semolina hero

  60. Miguel

    Mild to hot giardiniera is what you are missing. If you are ever in Denver go to a place called Snarfs and they will prepare the perfect Italian sub for you.

  61. Although this may (or may not) be the proper place to discuss such matters, the counter found on the “I’m feeling lucky” page definitely seems to be a countdown clock. From what I can tell, it is counting down by seconds, and if you convert that to days it is roughly 978.5 days from today (12/15/2009).

    978.5 days from today results in a date of Sunday, August 19, 2012.

    Oh, how the plot thickens… What does it all mean?! :P

  62. I still call them a hero.

    Is it hoagie or hero? :-)

    Also, you must add Prosciutto

  63. salvatore

    I am sorry for you Matt, you spent too much time looking for something does not exists in italy. I am italian and I live in Italy since 1974 when I was born. This is not how italian eat, we do not like to put too much stuff in a sandwitch. Probably someone do this, but it is not typical in Italy. Riccardo give you a best recipes that we usually love to eat. It is important that mozzarella is “bufala” (buffalo should be translation but I am not sure), better if it is produced near Caserta or Salerno (two cities near Naples).
    In italy we used to eat also a sandwitch called “Saltimbocca” but it has different names in different part of Italy. Near Salerno and Naples it is called in that way.
    http://it-it.facebook.com/pages/Il-Saltimbocca-ed-il-Panino-di-SciuSciu-a-Sorrento/61374307830

    Do not confuse it with “Saltimbocca alla Romana” that is a different thing.

    The basic recipes for it is ham and provola (something like mozzarella), but you can put in it whatever you want. The important thing here is the bread, very special and particular.

  64. Hey, I’m from Jersey (hate admitting that). Don’t forget the slices of fresh mozzarella.

  65. Hey Matt,

    I live in Italy and the food is fantastic but i’ve never seen your “hoagie sandwiches”.
    I think it’s an american invention whit some popoular italian food mixed :)

    Bye

  66. Someone should open a Jersey Mike’s Franchise on the Google Campus.

  67. Dario

    Suddenly, everyone knows about Hoagie Sandwiches.

  68. Rob

    Re: the “I’m feeling lucky” posts…do the math again…it is counting down to New Year’s….

  69. Hi Matt,
    this is spiedo bresciano, super! ;)

    http://images.google.com/images?q=spiedo bresciano

  70. like the idea of the hoagie, is it called anything else that I might know?

  71. The bread is important, but make sure that you get good meet. Not all meet is created equal. Compare a chain restaurant sub to proper one made in a deli. There is a huge difference in my humble opinion.

  72. I will try this in India..thanks for sharing the recipe ….

  73. Damian

    @Chris Arkwright

    i’ve jsut seen that – but the countdown is to new years eve i think

  74. (I’m from NJ) Lots of times the good sub shops dont use oil and vin, rather they use a bottled ‘Hoagie Oil’ that has the stuff like oregano and other herbs in it. It’s the key. In Cali, yous guys are prob dousing your subs with napas finest balsamic which is going to totally through off the sandwiches balance.

    Also, boars head is always a good bet.

  75. You called it by the correct name a Hoagie, not a sub or grinder or hero – that speaks on where you are from. Any way you say it, it sounds delicious!

  76. Amy

    dallin – I tried your subway one – it was good!

  77. 2 Chris Arkwright

    Endeavour start August 22. 2012

    is the nearest I found

  78. seo

    It seems to be delicious!I will try this,thanks for sharing the recipe

  79. Glenn

    The family you visited was in South Jersey. I know this because nobody above I-195 calls it a “hoagie”. They know them as “subs”. If you ever get back to the area and are brave enough, you should try “Snapper” soup with a hit of sherrie for some really popular local cuisine. Piney’s will someday rule the world!

  80. REVELATION: Damian is correct. My conversion was incorrect. It is really 14.1 days in total.

    Which puts it right at January 1st.

    Good call, bad math. LOL.

  81. I am from Jersey. Exit 11 NJTP, 31 GS. We would NEVER call it a hoagie. It’s a sub, and capicola is the secret ingredient we can’t get in my new home in NM. They say “capi what?”

  82. Mike Lafoote

    What kinda bread are you using?

  83. Where to start…

    A great hoagie is a thing of beauty. Your recipe looks right on, but it all depends on the quality of the ingredients… For me, the bread is crucial. I used to live out west and you can’t get good bread like you can in the East. No rivalry, but it’s a fact.

    The next time you’re in Philly, visit Sarcones in South Philly. They bake their bread daily and have a wide variety of hoagies. Show up early, because they sell out.

    As for terminology, it’s not a “sub, submarine,” or “grinder.” It’s a “hoagie.”

    Lastly, anyone that suggests that Subway’s produces a good sandwich has my sympathy; I’d like to take them out for a truly good hoagie.

    Does this make me the “hoagie nazi?”

  84. I’d never heard of a hoagie before – just googled it for some background! From the point of view of someone who’s never tried it reading the ingredients I think mustard would be a great addition.

  85. The are two methods when making a Hoagie… Northern or Southern. I know in South Jersey the tomatoes and bread are an extremly high factor. Up North we concoct our Sub a bit different.

    Prosciutto (10 slices)
    Sopressata (8 slices)
    Fresh Mozzarella (4 slices)
    Sundried Tomatoes (6)
    Pesto (4 ounces to spread on both sides)
    1 foot Roll

    This is similar to the GODfather which is in the Italian Hoagie sandwich family

  86. Matt, I’m from Italy, your recipe is simply just perfect! good job! :)

  87. Great comments! I suggest adding a few Gaeta olives (Black Olives). I’m Sicilian and I promise, they go great with salami.

  88. Never underestimate the power of black olives to complete a good hoagie.

  89. I’ve lived in Italy for more than four years, and I have yet to see a hoagie sandwich. In fact, sandwiches here generally have no more than one small piece of meat and an equally small slice of cheese. The hoagie of America is obviously an American hoagie.

  90. Great to see so many comments on a post about a sandwich.

    Am learning a lesson about reader participation.

    Thanks Matt for this interesting post.

    Jose

  91. Great Recipe!

    Adding a little parma prosciutto would top it off! One other comment that I’d like to add is the quality of the meat that you use. I suggest all Boars Head Brand meat!

    Happy Eating!

  92. can I make it meatless and still call it a hoagie? Here’s how i would build it.

    1/3 of a baguette from Acme bread
    basil pesto spread on both sides of the ‘V’
    leaves of basil
    mozarella with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil followed by sprinkles of salt and pepper
    grilled eggplant
    slices of avocado
    “lazcas” of pickled jalapeño pepper
    grilled red pepper
    sun dried tomato packed in oil
    close it, place a weight on top of it. Let juices marry for a bit and voilá!
    Humm that made me hungry at 11.54am

  93. I’m from Philly, so I know my hoagie. With that said, let go the capicola and venture into prosciutto. Also, dice fresh oregano. And, if you use mayo, use safflower mayo. Lastly, the juice of one lemon at the end, even after the salt and pepper. Yikes, too hungry to go on.

    But, Sarcone’s Deli near 9th is great. But, Paesano’s on Girard and 1st is killer.
    There are no good hoagies, however, in Orange County, CA.

  94. Matt! You’re killin’ me! I’ve been a confirmed veg-head for 19 years, and all this talk of Capicola and Genoa salami is enough to drive me back to the dark, carnivorous days of my early childhood. Who knew that yearnings for Capicol’ could last so long?

  95. Mechanic Mark

    “You forgot to mention the bread!” Being born and raised in South Jersey I feel that the most important ingredient of a hogie is the bread. In the tri-state area most sandwich builders use Amaroso rolls. Even the Wawa quicky marts use this amazing sandwich foundation. One of Americas greatest natural resources is the Hogie.

  96. As being Nepali, just add some pieces of green chilly, you will fell extraordinary and unique taste.

  97. Yeah, the bread is key. Nothing too fancy. Just needs to be fresh, slightly hard crust with soft center. Not too thick. Also, you can try chopping or slicing the lettuce and mixing the the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in it like you would a salad. Then put the lettuce in the sangawich (southern Italian dialect for hoagie). And the capicola…we call it gabagool.

    Hai gabit?

  98. Oh, and mayo? Never on an Italian sangawich.

  99. chris

    Living is south Jersey on the Black horse Pike in my younger years, a person became quite familiar with the finer points of Hoagie cuisine. No matter what neighborhood you lived in, there was always a small grocery store/deli within walking distance. And there still are. First of all, the roll was king. Not bread, not a bun, A HOAGIE ROLL. The golden brown 8″ to 12″ roll that was a little chewy, a little crispy, light on the inside and was NEVER cut all the way through. It must always spring back together slowly after it was cut down the center and opened up. I will not get into all the exact deli meats that went into a hoagie as they varied slightly from place to place. There were really only 4 types of hogies, they all had some things in common. The roll being #1. Your options and input were limited. There was the plain Hoagie, the Italian Hoagie, the Ham and Cheese Hoagie, And the Cheese Steak Hoagie. Your options were, onions or no onions. sweet peppers or hot peppers or both. And that was it. No Mayo, No Mustard, No Italian Dressing, All except the Cheese Steak Hoagie were drizzled lightly with oil and sprinkled with Oregano. The onions were sliced very thin on the slicer. No diced onion,or chopped onion like you see these days. of course summertime was the best time for hoagies. This was because you would get the fresh ripe Jersey Tomatoes sliced on your Hoagie along with the lettuce and onion. They were wrapped in white butcher paper and sealed with a piece of tape. Each marked with some type Initials as to the identity of what was inside. By the time you reached your eating destination, ( the curb, parking lot, car, or home.) the oil and juices would have seeped into the butcher paper and formed that clear stain letting you know it had reached its full flavor glory. With a cold can of pepsi on a hot summer day, There was nothing better. Except when I got older and substituted the pepsi for a cold Bud. MMMMM HOAGIE!!!

  100. I’ve been trying to convince my wife every time we come back from Cyprus to drive up from VA to Philly for the great Philly Cheesesteaks – now I have more ammunition – the hoagie! It sounds great.

  101. Hi Matt

    Thanks for the great recipe. My boyfriend is Italian and he’s always trying to make the “perfect” Italian Sub. He’s going to love this one and let’s not forget to use fresh italian bread in the process

  102. You must not forget the bread. It’s impossible to have a really great hoagie unless you live in the northeast. I think Philly seeded Italian loaf is a must for any great hoagie…bad bread, bad hoagie!

  103. Try using Volpi Foods’ Genoa salami, pepperoni and Capicola. Their Italian meats are to die for! Since I work for them, I can officially back this statement up!

  104. Nick

    I make the real deal in Alexandria La. Cheese steaks and hoagies for the last 24 years, Critics Choice with 2 locations. I wouldnt have left Philly without them. Sorry no real pizza, I could go for a plain cheese sicillian pie, Italian Delight in Broomall Pa. Im soory Im going to cry now. LOL

  105. Am I the only one who don’t know what a hoagie is?

  106. Wayne

    Wow, this thread is still going…

    As a teen I used to work at a restaraunt that made these among other things. It was an “Italian” style place that was owned and run by Greeks in New Hamphire…yeah go figure. We called them Italian Subs (Short for Submarine Sandwhich) and they were awesome.

    But since then I have travelled quite a bit in the USAF and haven’t found much better. When I make these at home I still use the same stuff.

    We used the following on fresh, soft bread:

    Genoa Salami
    Cooked Salami
    Boiled Ham
    Provolone Cheese
    Fresh Onion
    Fresh Green Pepper
    Dill Pickles
    Fresh Tomato
    Lettuce
    Salt & Pepper and a drizzle of vegatable oil

    Sometimes customers would ask for them “Hot” which meant giving the sandwhich a little toasting in the pizza oven before the veggies were added. But most people just had them cold.

    Mmmmm hungry now.

    Wayne

  107. Philly Deli Man

    Rookies! As said earlier, Sarcones is the best bread. And the bread is more than half of the hoagie quality. Philly folks know!
    Your recipe for the Hoagie was a good one, but not perfect. I sir/madam know how to make it as close to a big O experience as possible. Yes I do. You came close but left out a couple things.

  108. Bob Hendry

    I grew up (??) in South Philly, spent 25 years in the Army and lived in Italy for 4 1/2 years. I have never had a hoagie, anywhere, that even comes close to the ones from the Philadelphia area down to Cape May. Very similar to Matt’s recipe – and the most important ingredients are Ambrosia Hoagie Rolls and Capicola. Also, never, never, never use Mayo or vegetable oil on a hoagie; only Olive oil and vinegar. Any departure from thse standard norms, and you no longer have a hoagie.

    Interesting discussion – my 2 cents.

  109. Hoagie Haven in Princeton always has a line coming out of it.

    I actually stopped my car and ran after a man wearing a Hoagie Haven t-shirt. He mournfully told me there were no good hoagie places in the bay area.

    Now, thanks to your post,I’m going to try to recreate it here in France.

    yum.

  110. Valerie

    I agree with everyone here……BREAD is a very important factor in a hoagie….but we all must remember: “A sandwich does not live by Bread alone”. I have a small deli in South Jersey and I find what makes my hoagie/sub is EVERYTHING that I do to it. When I slice my meats I slice them thin….and I don’t use equal of each….I use more capicola then anything and less pepperoni (I am looking only for that BITE not to over power the sandwich) and the genoa and cooked salami (which I use Mortadella) is the same. I also think its very important how the lettuce, tomatoes and onions are sliced (they should be thin) and you can’t just use ANY onion….it has to be a yellow onion and you DON’T put chunks of onions….how appauling!!! I also use a good sharp Prov….not just anything! You have to make sure that you use enough salt, pepper and oregano…..and your choice of oil HAS TO BE EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). Don’t chince on a cheap veggie oil. I was told once by a 78 yr old Italian man from South Philly that the sub I made him was the best and most balanced he has ever tasted from NY to NJ and he said he couldn’t believe that I a black woman could make a sub better then an Italian. : ) I took that as the best compliment that someone could make to me in the business! I take alot of pride in my subs…..and I use the BEST bread out there…..LICCIO’S!!! You can’t get any better……I have used Aversa’s (too soft) Amorrosa (if Acme uses it why would I) I have used Di Bonno’s (good but not as sweet) Deluxe…..(not bad but couldn’t touch the best). So when your talking about making an Italian sub…..DO IT ALL THE WAY and TAKE PRIDE IN WHAT YOU SERVE YOUR CUSTOMER!!!

  111. Like a few others, as a child (in Clearwater Florida), there was an italian deli that made tremendous Hoagie’s. They were very particular in not calling them submarines, in fact they would get a little upset if you accidentally called a hoagie a submarine. My sisters thought what made them so good was the dressing (oil/vinegar?) do you have a few different dressings I might play around with to see if I can recreate the taste ?.

  112. Carol Stuck

    As one who was born in South Jersey with family members still living there our favorite Hoagie place is on the Black Horse Pike in Williamstown, New Jersey (south of town). It’s on the west side of the road in an older, mostly vacant stip mall. It’s called Palermo’s (not sure if that’s the correct spelling). When we visit our family (we have lived in Michigan since 1962) we try to get at least one hoagie from there. Our family feeds us hoagies from other deli’s but we still prefer Palermo’s. It’s extremely wonderful and exceptionally reasonable. Good stop on the way to Atlantic City or Ocean City.

  113. I live in vermont. I agree with all those who feel that the bread is the most important aspect of a hoagie. That said, there is no bread in vermont that enables the proper flavor and texture profile of a real “hoagie”. So, when I can, I drive down to Carmens Deli in Bellmawr NJ. and Get a Rosies Special. I bring a large cooler and pack in full. I get about 20 or so at a time and distibute them to family and friends. They can wrap the onions, lettuce and oil in plasic so that it can make the 7hr drive without getting overly soggie. A topic for another day could be pizza. But for that I have to drive to NYC…

    Good luck and happy eating…

    David

  114. Late to this thread but had to opine…many people have written that the bread is paramount. True. I like a seeded hero roll (btw, they are not called “hoagies” in NYC, we refer to them as “heros” or “wedges”) and it can’t be too doughy inside. Reason: because of the peppers and other marinated ingredients, it would tend to get soggy which would rear it’s head if you weren’t going to eat it immediately. In some cases, I have eaten one immediately and the peppers etc were so saturated with oil that it still became soggy.
    Another ingredient which is a must is proscuitto di parma or imported San Danielle proscuitto.
    DO NOT get the domestic San Danielle or the type from Canada…INFERIOR!
    Lastly, if you don’t want the sandwich to make a full frontal assault on your arteries or if you are averse to all of the sodium packed into pork-based coldcuts, I present the “healthy Italian hero” where you use turkey instead of the salami and ham. Thus you have proscuitto, turkey and cap. Or keep the salami and kill the cappicola. It tastes damn good and isn’t overloaded with Sodium.
    Here is a link on our food blog which is a salute to the Italian combo sandwich. Enjoy.

  115. Marshall Janson

    Please!!! I grew up in Burlington New Jersey and live in Tennessee now. Hard to find a good “HOGIE” here!! I think I can build me one, just need a good recipe for the oil. I ate them, not make them…

  116. The best Italian Hoagie I’ve ever had was from this place in Philadelphia called Gooey Louie’s (hope I spelled the name right! lol) had a friend bring back 25 sandwiches when she went back home to visit family. I know where I’m going to eat on my Phili trip! :-0)

  117. 4 slices Provolone
    4 slices Genoa salami
    4 slices cooked salami
    4 slices pepperoni

    Yeah, is delicious!

  118. Janeen Jackson

    I’m a Philly girl, so with that being said to me simpler is better!
    Do not like pat’s or geno’s
    The bread is the key fresh Italian ITALIAN hoagie roll dont seem you can go wrong with Amaroso
    Fresh, quality meats Boars Head is good to me
    I dont eat pork products, so I usually go with corn beef, roast beef or tuna fish (on Fridays)
    everything but mayo I HATE MAYONAISSE but heavy on the oil, I love my Hoagies with so much oil on them it soak through the bag
    I find that Lee’s hoagie house has the best oil I ever tasted!
    Pagano’s on 78th and Ogontz Avenues has the meatiest steaks n Hoagies in Philly!
    Gulf Gas station (you heard right Gulf Gas Station) on 71st and Ogontz has the best tasting hoagies the line goes out the door during lunch and suppertime! They use Boarshead
    But Lord have mercy on me when I tasted a White House hoagie, I almost wanted to cry it was so good( omg I’m salivating thinking about that experience lol) I ve only had a hoagie there once like 10 years ago and I still remember the bread being something outta this world! I go to NJ quite often but can never remember where it is :(

  119. Janeen Jackson

    Oh yeah, I won’t eat a hoagie that looks too perfect. Just build my hoagie please u don’t have to arrange the my hoagie like a school project but make it delicious and full of oil lol

  120. Dan

    Way late on this thread, but a few things I wanted to point out.
    1. Yes I know italians dont eat this crap, but its “italian american” and its delicious.
    2. Nobody mentioned the cheese: not provolone, sharp provolone (the kind that makes your hands stink for the rest of the day
    3. The roll is important, but not so that it doesn’t get soggy; everyone knows that a good italian hoagie is better the next day when the roll is soggy. Part of the fun is licking the oil off of your elbows that drips down your arm.
    4. Scrap the pepperoni. The trick is to find a cappicola that is spicy enough to give you the same spice effect, but not so hot your mouth is on fire, which some are.

    p.s. : I live in the italian market section of philadelphia. Don’t mess.

  121. Jessica

    LOL. I stumbled on this post while doing a Google search and I had to respond. I just finished consuming a Wawa Italian Hoagie (those from Philly and NJ will know what I’m talking about) and it may not be the epitome of the hoagie, but it is a good one. Dan is correct — no pepperoni on a true Italian Hoagie. And the very “fanciest” Italian hoagies do have prosciutto on them, too. Another chain that makes a mean hoagie is Primo. They use the sharp Provolone. Wawa uses Amoroso’s rolls which are my favorite. Primo uses a tougher seeded roll. Italian Hoagies are one of my favorite foods in the world. They bring back childhood memories of tailgating at Philles and Eagles games at Veteran’s Stadium with my parents. And Da is also right about leftover hoagies being even better the next day!

  122. laura

    Found your sandwich building technique searching for a bread recipe for hoagies rolls :)-
    couldnt help but press your photo. With all these comments could someone please pass
    down a recipe for the bread or a url to a bread they have made that compliments this the best?
    Seems like most of us love a great bread and not all of us live in large cities where we can
    go to the market and purchase.
    Sunny days-Laura

  123. Alex

    Hi Matt,

    If you want to eat something of truly Italian, come to visit me in Bolgheri in Tuscany.

  124. Catherine

    I got a chuckle from Sarah (who never heard of a hoagie) who suggested mustard as a great addition. Only someone who has never eaten a hoagie (yeah, my husband’s family’s from South NJ) would suggest mustard–or even worse, mayo! Both sacrilegious on a hoagie.

  125. valerie

    Catherine, YESSSSS……no mustard or mayo. And I don’t recall anyone specifing ‘hard’ bread. I now live in S cen pa and I can only find soft breads and rolls, no matter what kind is suggested. I’m drooling for my childhood HOAGIE and philly cheesesteak =( =)

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