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Hoagie roll: to seed or not to seed?

An interesting article from philly.com re: the popularity of the seeded roll for a hoagie.


Which do you prefer? I have to agree with the masses, the seeds add flavor to the hoagie, especially an Italian one. But I prefer seedless for cheesesteaks.

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  1. I can go either way for hoagies, but I agree on seedless for cheesesteaks.

    But I think Craig Laban is getting a little full of himself..."seedless is souless"? Give me a break.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Philly Ray

      I prefer the (generally heartier) seeded rolls for wet sandwiches (meatballs, roast pork/beef), but I find that they can be a bit of a chore with drier sandwiches (hoagies, cheesesteaks)

    2. Gotta have plain for cheesesteaks. But for hoagies, I really don't have a preference. And Laban has been "full of himself" for a while!

      1. Sarcones seeded hoagie rolls are my favorite and if I'm too far out of the city, I'd hit Primo's, they also have a seeded hoagie roll but not even close to the taste and texture of Sarcones. I also agree that a non seeded roll is the way to go for a cheesesteak.

        1. I prefer SEEDS. I like the crunch.
          But I think the other posters may be on to something and the softness of no seeds may be better for cheesesteaks.

          1 Reply
          1. Seeded rols are good in my opinion but Sarcone's are just way too much bread for a hoagie. Carangi is a better choice. A hoagie should be a good combination of all ingredients and should not be overwhelmed by the roll. Cheesesteaks are better on a plain Conshy roll.

            6 Replies
            1. re: BBCaprice

              I think the key is "air" or "no air". People "swear" by Amoroso rolls and some places advertise it as if it's supposed to be a plus. In my humble opinioin, these overly airy, flavorless rolls are horrid! Sarcone's is still tops in my books but not stand-alone. There are plenty of other bakeries that do a nice job. IMO, the important thing is to have some flavor and some texture. Shouldn't rip your mouth apart but you shouldn't be able to crumble it into a small ball in your hand because it's so soft. Sometimes you need a little softer roll for something like beef/pork/meatballs so it doesn't squeeze out the other end but NOT AMOROSO! Who on earth ever made them so popular???

              1. re: fishacura

                Yes, you are exactly right! It's the air or "no air". A denser roll that is easy to eat is definitely better. The problem with Sarcone's are THEY ARE NOT EASY TO EAT. Amoroso was made popular by Wawa. I'm not sure they still use their rolls though. Wawa likes to make everything theirselves like the soft pretzels which are horrible.

                1. re: BBCaprice

                  Where did you get the idea that Wawa popularized Amoroso? Amoroso rolls were being used by delis long before Wawa started selling their "hoagies" sandwiches.

                  1. re: bucksguy14

                    I remember thinking Amaroso's was great bread when I was young. Now, I think it is pretty weak. I seem to remember it getting bad around the time that Wawa picked them up. Maybe the extra production they had to do to satisfy Wawa did them in? Or maybe my tastes matured.

                    1. re: barryg

                      I used to like Amoroso's rolls too, but they must have changed. Back in the 80s they more closely resembled Conshy rolls in terms of mouthfeel

                      I would describe what BBCaprice is calling "air" as a lack of moisture. It's what I imagine that cotton would taste like

                  2. re: BBCaprice

                    maybe it's because I am most often eating a sarcones roll/bread right from Sarcones but I really don't find them difficult to eat.

              2. I grew up seedless, but LOVE a good, chewy, seeded hoagie from Primo!

                1. I like seeded rolls, but I really think that if you have top-notch bread, the seeds can serve as a distraction. They can also shore up a good-but-not-quite-great roll by addng texture. Also, if I'm kicking it old school with a tuna hoagie (think 1985, I'm 14 years old...I LIVED on tuna hoagies with tomatoes, onions, pickles, and some oil & vinegar...it's still a great sandwich), I think the seeds mess up the texture of the sandwich.

                  Sarah M.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: StrandedYankee

                    I lived on tuna hoagies as a kid also! Boy I haven't had a tuna hoagie in a long while. Any suggested locations in the city for a great tuna hoagie?

                    BTW, I like the seeded rolls with everything.....just adds a little something extra.

                    1. re: G Goo

                      Chickies has a fabulous tuna hoagie.

                  2. Sarcones for everything. If you think they are too much, ask to have the roll 'gutted'. They tear out some of the middle. I prefer them this way for cheesesteaks.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: SteveDMatt

                      Yeah, my mom prefers them scooped

                    2. I attended the Glen & Anthony Italian Hoagie Hunt finale at Fox & Hound in KoP a few weeks ago. Glen and Anthony are sports talk radio hosts on 610 WIP who host an area restaurant challenge every year. This year's was "Area's Best Hoagie". Anyway I tasted several really good to great hoagies there and was really surprised with the seeded rolls. I didn't like it because it took away from my hoagie experience. It almost made the hoagie taste "Middle Eastern" to me. All I need from the roll is textural contrast (i.e. crusty on the outside and soft on the inside) and a hearthy smell and flavor. Matter of fact, that may be all that I need.;)

                      PS - One of the contestants used an s-load of prosciutto on his hoagie. Big mistake I thought. The use of an inch of proscuitto on any sandwich shows a real ignorance of the product to me.


                      1. Hoagie traditionalists do NOT eat hoagies on seeded rolls. That doesn't mean that people aren't allowed to eat whatever they wish. Eating a hoagie on a seeded roll is like eating a Philly soft pretzel with relish....it's a permissible abomination.

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: Enjoy Good Food

                          Agreed. I've never had a hoagie on a seeded roll and never thought to ask for one. And my choice of roll for years has been Conshohocken Italian Bakery.

                          1. re: Enjoy Good Food

                            Relish on soft pretzels? A little overstated don't you think? Even traditional foods can be amped up a notch with some quality upgrades.....which I think a seeded roll is a definite upgrade, especially for a less spiced hoagie, e.g. turkey, tuna, etc. I agree that a plain roll is a better choice for an italian hoagie.

                            If traditions weren't improved upon the colonists in the revolutionary war would have been fighting the British in open ranks instead of hiding behind trees. They would have been crushed. Then where would this conversation be? We'd probably be arguing the merits of boiling our meats in tap vs. spring water or maybe the best time of the day for tea. ;)

                            Happy 4th all!

                            1. re: G Goo

                              You say it's green. I say it's blue. We're both entitled to our opinion even tho' one of us is wrong. (grin) Hoagies aside, I have always preferred a sandwich for its contents versus its bread. In other words, I prefer the contents of a sandwich to dominate rather than having bread dominate. My brother is crazy about hoagies with seeded rolls. I don't call that a hoagie. I call it a "seeded roll sandwich".

                              1. re: Enjoy Good Food

                                If you prefer "a sandwich for its contents versus its bread", why would you call something that has the contents of a hoagie, but a seeded roll rather that an unseeded roll, something other that a hoagie. If the contents are meats, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers and whatever else you like in a hoagie, and the roll doesn't matter, it's a hoagie - right?

                                1. re: bucksguy14

                                  Let me re-state my sandwich preferences. To me a sandwich should boast of what's inside rather than what's outside. That contradicts the view of bread fans who judge a sandwich by what's on the outside. I like bread to complement -- not dominate -- the sandwich. As for seeded rolls, they taste best with cream cheese and lox.

                                2. re: Enjoy Good Food

                                  I agree, the contents should be primary, the roll secondary. Conshy rolls are the best hoagie rolls in the Philadelphia area, especially is they are re-baked right before assembly. The Best!

                                3. re: G Goo

                                  Oh, Goo. You have me laughing. You feel that "even traditional foods can be amped up a notch with some quality upgrades" (e.g., seeded rolls). What is it that you don't understand about someone not liking seeded rolls for their hoagies. Your "amped up" is my "ruination". If sesame seeds complement your provolone and capicola, so be it. As for me, no, no, no seeded roll for my hoagie.

                                  1. re: Enjoy Good Food

                                    I understand just fine. I just get tired of all the so-called traditionalist chastising people for bucking staid traditions. I'm sure years ago, the first time someone made a hoagie with, tuna, turkey, veggies, etc., etc. etc, there was some grouchy old-timer looking over the sandwich-maker's shoulder saying "you can't put that on there, that's not a hoagie!". I've seen the same arguments made for cheesesteaks (you can't put ketchup, american cheese, etc on a cheesesteak!), water ice (there's only 2 water ice flavors, lemon and chocolate....anything else is not water ice!), soft pretzel (must be oval shaped to be a real soft pretzel!), blah, blah, blah. So, that said, a hoagie with a seeded roll is still indeed a hoagie, and a better one to boot. (That was for you recipelover!)

                                    Thank you for responding to my post twice. I feel very important.

                                    1. re: G Goo

                                      G Goo - I agree with what you've said. However, I think there is one thing that I'll never understand. And that is - people who put mayonnaise on a cheesesteak!

                                      1. re: bucksguy14

                                        That sounds terrible. Mayo on a cheessteak, never heard of it, lol.

                                      2. re: G Goo

                                        You know what the BEST "in your face" is about soft pretzels. We tend to think we've invented the soft pretzel and stick our noses in the air at places like Aunti Annes saying "that's not a real soft pretzel". Well actually, that's exactly the style of the original soft pretzel created by the Amish/PA Dutch...not Philadelphians as many believe. Don't get me wrong...my favorite is still heading down to Washington Ave. by the italian market and getting a "philly" soft pretzel....but we certainly did not invent them and we actually changed them quite a bit. Wonder what a "pureist" would have to say on that one :)

                                  2. re: Enjoy Good Food

                                    REALLY??? Define your source? How can you make a blanket statement like that which has no basis in fact? And comparing it to a pretzel with relish? Perhaps a more appropriate post would have been "I don't prefer seeds on rolls but have no basis to speak for hoagie lovers everywhere"

                                  3. Hoagie rolls are not seeded. NEVER have been seeded. A seeded roll is just that...a seeded roll. Stop calling them hoagie rolls. I personally love seeded rolls. I simply love hoagies and cheesesteaks on hoagie rolls and have for 70 years. When one creates a twist on an old favorite, please give it a new name.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: recipelover

                                      How about what it is.....a "hoagie roll with sesame seeds". We have a winner.

                                      1. re: G Goo

                                        Yes! Let's call it what it is. It's a sesame seed roll. Ain't nothing "hoagie" about it.

                                    2. A hoagie is a hoagie on _whatever_ roll you want it to be on. There is no rule that specifies seeds or no seeds. That's just a ridiculous notion.

                                      There will be lots of opinions, none wrong. For me, a good hoagie is on a sesame seeded roll that has a good crackling crust and whose interior isn't soft like Wonder Bread. In other words, most supermarket hoagie rolls just are plain wrong. The best rolls come from the small family owned bakeries that are disappearing at an alarming rate.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: The Professor

                                        "A hoagie is a hoagie on _whatever_ roll you want it to be on."

                                        How about on a kaiser or a dinner roll? ;]

                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                          Right-on, Chinon00 !! Or how about a soft pretzel in a taco shell? Is that still a Philly soft pretzel? Or a hot dog wrapped in a lettuce leaf? Hoagie traditionalists just ain't gonna change their opinion about what roll constitutes a real hoagie. IMHO, Conshohocken rolls are the perfect delicious but under-stated companion for a true hoagie. Please, please don't serve me a hoagie on foccoccia, kaiser roll, raisin bread or sesame seed roll.

                                          1. re: Enjoy Good Food

                                            I think what has people in a mild uproar is your opinion of what you like versus your statement that it's "no longer a hoagie". I don't think putting seeds on an otherwise hoagie-style role precludes it from being called a hoagie. That's all...nothing more...nothing less. No one is telling you what to enjoy (at least I hope so). I think most sensible people would say that with or without seeds certainly doesn't change what the sandwich is. However, if you put it on a kaiser or bagel or taco shell, that's probably a bid different wouldn't you think?

                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                              Not for me, but if that's what you like, why the heck not.
                                              It's still bread, in a different shape.
                                              (I was just playing devil's advocate anyway...guess it _was_ a bit ham-handed, so to speak)
                                              I do prefer a hoagie on sesame roll though. It's still a hoagie.