What Is A Hero Sandwich?

If you ever find yourself planning a trip to New York, you'll probably end up doing a list with all the foods you need to try. New York Pizza is a must and can be found in shops everywhere from the Bronx down to Staten Island. There are also a bunch of great food carts that you will find walking by, that serve treats from over the world, like tacos, patacones, pita platters, and more, way more.

But, a local would probably recommend their best spot for having a hero sandwich. Excuse me, a what? For the name, you assume it looks like any other great sandwich, with ingredients assembled between two pieces of bread, either toasted or cold. But you are still surprised because you have never heard someone talking about a hero sandwich before. Don't worry, is not a quite common name within foodie communities, but more of a local kind of thing. In fact, there is a chance you already had a hero sandwich, but it was called different because you weren't in New York City.

A large sandwich filled with meat is called hero sandwich in New York City

According to What's the Difference, a hero sandwich is a way to refer to a large sandwich that has a lot of ingredients and looks like an Italian sub. The term comes from food writer and columnist Clementine Paddleford, who once described a sandwich so large "you had to be a hero to eat it" (via Women You Should Know).

As reported by Delighted Cooking, a hero sandwich is made with a big baguette or a type of Italian bread, and usually includes deli meats like mortadella, salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, and some kind of cheese like provolone or mozzarella. You may add mayo or mustard if you like so, but the classic way to prepare it is with olive oil and vinegar in each slice of bread — then this is served either cold or toasted. Remember: This sandwich is quite big, the meatball sub and chicken parm can also be considered heroes.

If ever in Philly, you may hear people referring to big sandwiches as hoagies, and as grinders in New England (via What's the Difference). But, let's stick with calling it a hero sandwich in New York. If ever taste one, keep in mind you are diving into quite the food experience, where you need to do all that it takes to bite the big sandwich and finish it. If you do it, well, call yourself a hero!