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HoagieLOVE's Friggin' Dictionary

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

Will you find these definitions in Webster's? Maybe, but not with my interpretations from a lifetime of eating authentic Italian foods.

Disclaimer: This is not a real dictionary, so no, its not in alphabetic order. Think of it as a logical order.

Find more on my History of Hoagies post coming soon!

Hoagie: Description for a long roll split and filled with deli meats and cheese. It also contains veggies like lettuce and tomato, condiments like mayo and or oil, and spices like salt, pepper and oregano. Traditionally, hoagies are made with imported Italian meats and cheeses although there are many variations today based on personal preference that include turkey, tuna, chicken cutlets, and others.

Authentic pronunciation: You should know by now.

Disclaimer: Do not call this a sub, submarine, hero, grinder or zep. If you do this now, either course correct immediately or relocate out of state, and jersey does not count.


Salume (plural - Salumi): Italian word for cured lunch meat covering many different meats. Key ingredient to an antipasto platter.

Authentic pronunciation: sa-lou-me


Salami: Cured sausage of fermented and air-dried meat made from pork.

Authentic pronunciation: sa- la-me


Sopressata: Type of Salami that is typically from Calabria, Italy. In English, it means "pressed down". Depending on its origins, some come from the unusable parts of the pig (Tuscany) while others (Basilicata) come from the best cuts of pork.

Authentic pronunciation: super-sod


Capicola: Marbleized Italian cured meat that comes from the neck of the pig. There is all this science behind the perfect ratio of fat and lean that makes the taste so wonderful. Spices are also added to give your hoagie a little kick. Who knew a neck could be so tasty. Those darn pigs.

Authentic pronunciation: gaba-gool

HoagieLOVE Pro Tip: Don't be a coward like I was in my 20s asking for "Cap-i-cola". The deli will know what you want when you say "gabagool". Be brave and just ask for it correctly!


Cotechino: Italian cured meat that includes minced pork rind.

Authentic pronunciation: Ko-ta-kine

HoagieLOVE Pro Tip: Don't be a coward like I was in my 20s asking for "Cap-i-cola". The deli will know what you want when you say "gabagool". Be brave and just ask for it correctly!


Prosciutto: The big daddy of fine meats. It is dry-cured, uncooked and sliced thin. There are variations by region, and some have protected status in that region. Some prosciutto comes from pig, others from wild boar, and even other animals, cut from the hind leg. Prosciutto de Parma (from Parma, Italy) is the most common. When it is fresh, it has a soft, buttery texture. When eating, the fat may give it a stringy consistency, sticking in your teeth. I remove the outer layer of fat before eating it, but that is just personal preference.

Authentic pronunciation: pra-zute

HoagieLOVE Pro Tip: Just get a great roll, add quality olive oil, tomato and oregano. You will not regret it. To sweeten the pot, add some stinky cheese (aka extra sharp provolone).


Mortadella: Is it wrong to call it the king of bologna? No, if you are referencing it origins from Bologna, Italy. This is not your typical American bologna but the process is similar. Think i=of it as bologna's sophisticated, more mature cousin. It is cured, ground pork with small cubes of pork fat. Typically Flavored with peppers and sometimes pistachio.

Authentic pronunciation: Mort-a-dell


Speck: Similar in texture and look to Prosciutto, but Speck is different. It is smoked (and sometimes pickled) and made from pork belly. etimes pickled) and made from pork belly.

Authentic pronunciation: None needed

HoagieLOVE Pro Tip: It could overwhelm your hoagie, but its can be nice to add a slice or two to mix things up.


Stinky Cheese: This is my friggin' dictionary, so I can add this in. This is my description of the absolute best cheese around - extra sharp provolone cheese.

Authentic pronunciation: stink-e cheese. Kidding, none needed

HoagieLOVE Pro Tip: I prefer to buy the block, and shave off pieces to add to my hoagie. If the block is not super hard, it's not sharp enough.


Other Friggin' Definitions:

Antipasti (plural: Antipasto): The best way to start any Italian meal. It’s an appetizer platter of Italian meats, marinated cheeses, olives and whatever else ya got - crackers, roasted peppers, marinated artichokes, you name it.


Panzerotti: An inside out pizza that is deep fried to heavenly goodness.

HoagieLOVE Pro Tip: Be careful on the first bite. All this gooey cheese and sauce goodness can be very, very hot like a fireball.


Cheez Whiz: Made by Kraft, Cheez Whiz is a processed cheese sauce that is often used in cheese steaks and cheese fries. If you've ever had a cheese steak from Pat's Steaks in South Philly, you know to order your cheese steak "wit whiz". That means "wit" (aka with) onions and whiz. Heavenly cheesy goodness that Kraft implies includes cheese.


Locatelli Cheese: This is the mother of all pecorino romano cheeses, at least here in the US.


Burrata Cheese: An Italian cow milk sometimes buffalo milk) cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer casing is solid cheese, while the inside contains an unusual, soft texture.

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