The Italian sandwich is a classic favorite in New Jersey, but it goes by many names. Depending on where you are in the state, you may hear it referred to as a Sub, Hoagie, Hero, or Grinder. But what is the difference between these sandwiches?The only name for the Italian sandwich that didn't originate in another state is Sub. Although the origin of the name Sub is much disputed, one of the three popular legends says that it was coined in Patterson, New Jersey in 1910. Hoagie and Hero clearly originate in Philadelphia and New York.
Sack O' Subs, with four substores in South Jersey, confirms that in New Jersey the correct name is Sub. A sandwich is made with a bar of about 24 inches, and a sandwich with a bar half that size. Even if you cut that bread into halves or quarters, it's still a sandwich. Family restaurants in the South Philadelphia neighborhood began offering Hoagie as their star sandwich, and Wa Wa Food Markets began selling hoagies in the late 1970s. New Jerseyans love their food and the most popular sandwich in New Jersey is the Italian sandwich. Philadelphians who began migrating to South Jersey in the 1950s kept the name Hoagie for the popular sandwich.
Around 1910, Dominic Conti opened his grocery store on Mill Street in Paterson, New Jersey, where he sold traditional Italian sandwiches. The people of North Jersey are largely influenced by the events and traditions of New York City and have roots in New York or travel to New York for work. This explains why they call it a Hero instead of a Sub. In conclusion, while there are many names for this classic Italian sandwich, depending on where you are in New Jersey you may hear it referred to as a Sub, Hoagie, Hero, or Grinder. No matter what you call it though, it's sure to be delicious!.