Most cities, like most people, are known by many characteristics. Their buildings, their neighborhoods, their people, and, not least of all, their foods. Some of these foods reflect the character of the city and its ethnic heritage. We are proud to share these with you and we think that you will find them, like Philadelphia and its people, most enjoyable.
One item that has made Philadelphia famous and has been enjoyed by its natives is the hoagie. It reflects the strong presence of Italian heritage that began primarily in South Philadelphia, around the original colonial settlements. Some will dispute its origin, but no one can dispute its popularity there and in the surrounding region. Legend has it that the name involves Philadelphia’s Hog Island and originated during World War 1. Italian shipyard workers combined meats and cheeses on long rolls and named them after the island. Others contend that the sandwich size was enough to fill a hog. While the legend, either this or others, may not be real, the strong ties to the community are undeniable.