This publish initially appeared in an version of What’s the Distinction?, a weekly e-newsletter for the curious and confused by New York Metropolis author Brette Warshaw. Eater shall be publishing all editions that parse food-related variations, although these hardly scratch the floor of the world’s (and the e-newsletter’s) curiosities: Signal as much as get What’s the Distinction? in your inbox or compensate for the total archive.
What’s the distinction between…
A Hero, Sub, Grinder, and Hoagie?
Some issues in life are easy: we all know that two items of bread with stuff between them, for instance, is a sandwich. Swap in an extended roll, nevertheless, and issues get much more sophisticated.
Let’s begin with the submarine, or sub. A sub is a minimum of six inches lengthy and is constructed with a mix of meat, cheese, fixings (lettuce, tomato, and so on.), and dressing. It’s often served chilly. In line with Google Traits, the phrase “sub” is by far and away essentially the most generally used of in the present day’s 4 large-sandwich phrases. You’ll be able to see this within the graph under:
Trying on the regional breakdown, “sub” can be clearly the winner — apart from one, lonesome state.

Pennsylvania — what’s going on??

Pennsylvanians — Philadelphians, particularly — have their “hoagies.” A hoagie is only a sub — the Oxford English Dictionary actually defines it as a “submarine sandwich” — however the Pennsylvania people have insisted on making it their very own. In line with Bon Appétit, the time period probably comes from Despair-era jazz musician and sandwich-shop proprietor Al De Palma, who began calling his submarines “hoggies” since you “needed to be a hog” to eat a sandwich that massive. (So judgy!) “Hoggies” in some way morphed into “hoagies,” and you bought your self a regional sandwich time period.
Head over to New York Metropolis, and also you’ll see an identical sandwich known as a “hero.” The time period probably comes from New York Herald Tribune columnist Clementine Paddleworth (sure, that was her identify), who in 1936 described a sandwich so giant “you needed to be a hero to eat it.” Extra so than a sub, a hero can check with each cold and hot sandwiches, which is why you’ll see issues like meatball heroes and chicken-parm heroes on menus across the space.
Lastly, we have now grinders, which is the New England–based mostly time period for a hero. In line with Bon Appétit, “some declare that it was named for ‘grinders,’ Italian-American slang for dockworkers (who had been typically sanding and grinding rusty hulls to repaint them),” however the time period most probably comes from the truth that they had been tougher to chew than regular sandwiches: “that toothsomeness obtained translated into ‘grinder,’ since that’s what your enamel needed to do to get by means of a chunk.”
• What’s the Distinction Between a Hero, Sub, Grinder, and Hoagie? [wtd]

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