Thursday, May 14, 2009

Food and Language

It has been a bit, and I have posts perking. The next of which will explain the lacunae.

I bought my lunch today at a downtown Baton Rouge sandwich shop. The menu got me to thinking. I got the "Tuna Salad Po' Boy" (only because I had not noticed that they have a pastrami one!).

What is a "po' boy"? The Wikipedia entry says:
A po' boy (also po-boy, po boy, or poor boy) is a traditional submarine sandwich from Louisiana. It almost always consists of meat or seafood, usually fried, served on baguette-like Louisiana French bread.
It goes on to talk about bread, etc.

It seems to me that while in a large number of restaurants, the definition above is correct, it does not seem to be universally true in Louisiana today. My sandwich was on the same type of bread as a sandwich from Subway, or Quiznos, or any number of "mom and pop" sandwich shops. And while I would count tuna salad as meat, and certainly pastrami, neither of those is fried.

I have seen "Italian po' boys" offered which are little different than what I grew up with being called a "grinder." In the New York area, it would have been called a "Hero" (different from a Gyro which is pronounced the same). It is also the same as a "Sub" (and that is the origin of the Subway chain, founded in my former home-town of Bridgeport CT). Indeed, Wikipedia bears this out.

[I guess if I were really inspired, I'd segue into the milkshake/frappe/cabinet discussion...but I need to run.]

No comments:

Post a Comment