These phone conversations I have with my mom, as I’m trying to get her recipes down on paper, are sometimes kinda funny.
Me: “Momma, what did you put on hoagies*?”
Mom: “Oh, gosh, Italian dry salami, some ham.”
Me: “Provolone, right?”
Mom: “Oh, yeah, gotta be provolone! Reallllllly thinly sliced onion — it should be paper-thin. Thin-sliced tomatoes, too, and shredded lettuce. And of course olive oil. And a little basil.”
Me: “Don’t you mean oregano?”
Mom: “Oh, yes, oregano. Right.”
Me: “And mayo?”
Mom: “NO! You don’t put mayo on a hoagie! Mayo goes on sub sandwiches, but no self-respecting hoagie has mayo.”
Me: *silently rolls eyes*
Mom, laughing: “And don’t think I don’t know you just rolled your eyes at me.”
So there you have it. Soft Italian bread is best. I put mayo, but then it’s Clearly Wrong. Usually, we go with one long sandwich for everyone, but I had shopping fail, so this time, they were individual sandwich rolls. The slight dusting of dried oregano is what puts it firmly into Mom Food territory for me, because I’ve not had that since we left Philly when I was 7, unless my mom made it for me, and the oregano is a totally unique taste on a sandwich.
Try it. And use good olive oil, please, or my mom will know you didn’t.
* I was born in Connecticut, where these sandwiches were called “grinders”, but we lived for a while in Philadelphia, where much of my family still lives, and where they call them “hoagies”. Here in California, I mostly hear “subs” or “sub sandwiches”.