October 24th National Bologna Day

When I was a child I use to love Bologna sandwiches. Add a little cheese and mayo or mustard, or both, and my day was made! It didn’t matter if it was German bologna, Beef bologna or Kosher bologna, I just knew it was good!

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And occasionally my mom would fry the bologna and I was in Heaven. I am not sure what made it even better when it was fried but it was. Every once in a while we got it for breakfast as a special treat.

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And then, as I got older, I started to question what was in bologna.  It is made from sausage or mortadella, a cubed sausage. Black pepper, nutmeg, allspice, celery seed, coriander and myrtle berry is added for flavoring. It does come from Bologna, Italy originally.

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I tend not to eat too many things that are ground up and mixed together before I get the chance to know what all is really in there. Like hotdogs which are perfectly safe but may contain parts I am not openly willing to eat. You are pretty safe if it is Kosher though so maybe I should give it a chance again. It really was good!

How to celebrate – Have a bologna sandwich for lunch today. Make up your own bologna recipe. (Use is sort of like Spam) Treat your kids to bologna, even if they don’t eat much of anything they will probably like bologna… just don’t tell them what’s in it.

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November 3rd National Sandwich Day

Could America exist without the sandwich!?! I don’t think so. It is probably the most popular food in all of America, maybe even the world. We now have breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, and dinner sandwiches. There are super sandwiches for football game parties and tiny sandwiches for those on a diet. We even have ice cream sandwiches and aren’t most cookies actually sandwiches?

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Well, we owe it all to John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich, and his passion for gambling. In the 18th century, meat was served very greasy and Montagu did not wish to soil his fine clothing. So he ordered the meat served between two pieces of bread to soak up the grease and keep his fingers clean for card playing. Soon everybody was doing it, well not the gambling part, the ordering sandwiches. Oddly, he never really was the Earl of Sandwich though. The towns original name was Sondwic which got changed to Sandwic and finally Sandwice in 1086. But no one wants to eat a sandwice, which means “Market Town on Sandy Soil”.

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The nice thing about a sandwich is that you can put anything you want on it and you can restrict it to only things you like! What is more perfect!?! The perfect meal served with only the foods you like and all made portable because of the bread!

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So this is John Montagu’s birthday, November 3rd and hence, National Sandwich Day. Subway will give you a free sandwich if you show up and ask for it. There are some limitations but for the most part, you can have it your way (something you really can’t get at Burger King).

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And Arby’s also has a free sandwich they will give you but you have to register for it, I believe on their website.

How to celebrate – Either go out and buy a sandwich or make one of your own at home. Try to create your own sandwich and see if you can get it named for yourself! Share a sandwich with someone, educating them first about the history of National Sandwich Day.

September 14th National Hoagie Day

Food can be a work of art and each of us can be an artist. We can create our own work, the way we like it with all the colors of the rainbow and flavors in a palate. Our canvas is either French Roll or Italian Roll, our paints are the various cuts of meat and cheese and our sculpture is the garnish we add, sprinkle or pour.

51233-1Now nobody knows exactly who, or when, the hoagie was invented. Some say it was a DiCostanzas in Pennsylvania in 1923, others say it was the DePalmas in 1925 in the same state. It’s sort of a feud these days. Another version talks about the sandwiches the shipbuilders were eating in Philadelphia during World War 1. That would predate either the DiCostanzas or the DePalmas. The truth probably lay somewhere in the middle of all three sources, but I’ll bet there are those in New York City that would argue the point.

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The original name of the hoagie was probably the hoogie.  It came from the terms used that explained children skipping school. They were said to either be “On The Hook” or “Playing Hookey”. The hoagie was a sandwich, at the time, that even a child could afford on the streets and the name Hookie was given to the sandwich. Because of the accent most Philadelphian’s have the a was added and the term Hoagie added to the dictionary.

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So no matter who made it, how it was made or what it is made out of, take the time to make your own piece of art, a Hoagie. You will be very satisfied by your work!

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How to celebrate – Remember a hoagie is a style, not a flavor so make one your way! See if you can make a hoagie for your family choosing the right ingredients. Ask the one you love to make a hoagie for you and see if they get it right.