Lunch Break: Hoagies @Home

Updated: Mar 15


So I needed to run to the grocery store at lunch yesterday. I am not going to lie. If I could, I would always do grocery home delivery but sometimes you just need to run out. Let's face it, with COVID-19, trying to work and homeschooling, keeping the rest of my life in line is a challenge. My daughter somehow convinced me to take her to the Coinstar machine to exchange her pennies, and the only one nearby is in the Giant grocery store.


I'm a Wegmans lover, so I wasn't looking forward to it. I don’t know where things are. I only had an hour because it was my lunch break from my day job. But the things we do for our children sometimes. Things I never thought I would do.

That morning, I had decided that there would be no more carbs during the week. Carbs are only reserved for "research" for my beloved hoagie blog. Then it happened.

I was doing great. Following the carb-free list on the Alexa App when I was railroaded.

I was in the bakery isle and there were these beautiful Liscio seeded rolls. I needed one pronto. I became elated then hangry immediately. Get me out of this store!

But I needed to get in line for the deli to get my meats and cheeses but I could tell, it was going to take some time. While waiting to order, I meandered through their specialty meats and cheeses and I found something amazing!

Pre-packaged meats imported from Italy…what? Right next to the Extra Sharp Provolone from Bel Gioioso - my go-to for stinky cheese in the burbs. The brand is Veroni Brand, which I had not heard of before. There were several Salumi's* to choose from - Calabrese (like me), Di Parma and Milano. Online they also have Truffle Salumi -- YUM! They also had Speck, which is a dry cured ham, and Proscuitto. I also saw Mortadella online but not in the store. Ever have Mortadella? Holy cow, its amazing! More on that at a later time.

Everything was sliced paper thin - my dream. I grabbed it all and checked around for any sign of the price. Nothing, nada. I figured it would be very expensive but I had no time to check! At check out, my daughter grabbed the receipt for later inspection and hopefully no remorse.

Back at home, I laid everything out and began my hoagie assembly.


Bread: Liscio's seeded bread - dense and crusty. I cut and scooped out the inside to make space. Being carb-conscious I put it aside to NOT eat. I did eat it later.

Condiments: I started with extra virgin olive oil. Place it on both sides of the bread. Then I added mayo, closed the hood to spread it evenly on the top and bottom. Just enough to not overwhelm the hoagie with condiments. I also added oregano, pepper and a small pinch of salt.

hoagieLOVE Pro Tip: Salt is not necessary as there is a lot of salt in the cured meats. It's up to your taste buds.

Meats & Cheese: I prefer the block of extra sharp provolone from Bel Gioioso because I find most delis don’t have sharp enough stinky cheese. I cut it in small pieces and line the bread with my cheese. I then added the Speck. I prefer to fold each piece and layer each piece slightly over each other.

I then added the Salumi to break up the two meats with the same texture - Speck and Proscuitto. I wanted to be able to experience the flavors separately too.

Then I added one more layer of Salumi to round out my meat to cheese to veggie ratio. Meat should have the highest ratio in the hoagie.

hoagieLOVE Pro Tip: I remove the larger pieces of fat from both the Speck and Proscuitto to get the full flavor.

Veggies: I then added my thin sliced onions, tomato then lettuce. This time I used Boston lettuce in larger pieces because during my supermarket sweep, this was the first organic lettuce I encountered. I do prefer organic ingredients, when available.

I then added my pickles and banana peppers. I cut up one of my giant Costco pickles and this time, I used mild peppers.

Reorganization Rating: I only needed to tuck in the lettuce, but everything stayed. I've gotten pretty good at this at home and I attribute it to removing some of the bread inside and not putting too much mayo and oil to keep the experience to zero slippage. Score!

Eating experience: Immediately, I noticed that I needed more oregano. Looking back at the video, I should have covered both the top and bottom of the bread with oregano, not just the bottom. I also noticed the smoky flavor of the Speck which differentiated this from others. If you do not like smoky, I would recommend that you cut back on the amount of Speck or eliminate altogether. I thought it was a nice touch.

hoagieLOVE Pro Tip: Maybe replace the Speck with Mortadella…it's on my mind now.

Next meal survival rate: I saved a sliver for later, and as suspected, it held up nicely. No mush and based on using super fresh ingredients, nothing was wilty. No one likes a wilty piece of lettuce or tomato, right? Wilty lettuce reminds me of that weird garnish at a "family restaurant" where you can order a meal "complete". The salad comes out on a glass dish with an etched design, a dinner roll, pats of butter in a dish. You know what I mean, right?

Overall happiness rating: Listen, I snuck this in and was super thrilled with the experience. After eating my impromptu lunch break hoagie, I reviewed my receipt from Giant. The Speck and Prosciutto were $6.99 (3-4 oz), Salami was $5.99 (4 oz) and the Provolone was $4.79 (bargain!) I'd say the pricing was very good considering these were specialty, imported meats from Italy. Check out Veroni Brand at Giant to get that specialty taste from a local grocery store.

Next stop….Italian Hoagie Salad. Let's see if it can provide that hoagie flavor without the carbs this time.

*I've used the Italian spelling for "salami" in this blog as it was too good to compare to your average grocery store salami. Salumi….say it with me…Salumi!

54 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All