What Make the Philadelphia Hoagie Different - The Results
I really want to thank everyone for their great response to my Philadelphia Hoagie inquiry, and about what makes it different.
I took your suggestions to heart.
1. First and foremost... the bread. A barely crusty bread with a great "chew."
2. No mayo. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on the bread. A resounding favorite among those who contributed. Also went the majority and held back my urge to add vinegar.
3. Went with BarryG and his comment that the cheese, sharp provolone, should be placed directly on the bread.
4. Imported Italian cold cuts were used. I found a deli that knew how to slice paper thin, and got a great imported Mortadella and Hot Capicola. At my deli's urging, I used the DiLusso Genoa salami, and even though it's made by Hormel, it is really is a stellar example of Genoa.
5. Spices were limited to salt and pepper, with a dusting of Oregano on top with a final splash of olive oil.
6. I used Sweet Banana Peppers, whole, with the stems removed to add that vinegar tang.
I have to tell you that having a hoagie without mayo was dangerous new ground for me, but by using olive oil only, I found that the flavor of the meat and cheese really came shining through as opposed to being relegated to the background by mayo. Vinegar soaked sweet banana peppers provided more than enough vinegar to counterpoint the olive oil.
Did you know that lettuce and tomato are really triggers for our brain's color sense to make a sandwich more appealing, and are really not flavor components?
Thank you, Philadelphia, this was one incredible sandwich re-created in the desert of Las Vegas!
Great work, scotdc. Very authentic.
I'm intrigued by your comment about tomato and lettuce being used as enticers more than enhancers. And, as you have experienced how olive oil can let the quality of the authentic cold cuts come through, perhaps mayo was stuck in to hide the not-so-authentic stuff (like American cheese and bologna).
Now that you have consensus from those who know, open your own Authentic Philadelphia Hoagie shop in Vegas and make a gazillion!
There is a bakery a few miles East of the Strip, on Tropicana Ave near Pecos. It's called... wait for it... Great Buns (I always get a kick out of that and remember a scene from an old James Belushi movie Taking Care of Business). Only decent sandwich roll in Vegas but worth seeking out.