Sandwiches are great. In fact, many would argue that a sandwich is the perfect meal. You can hold it in your hand and it’s got everything you need in it. They come in many forms, sandwiches, and one of our favorites here at Nadeau’s Sub and Sandwich Shop is our famous steak tip sub. However, no matter what your favorite sub may be, there is still one question that always surfaces.
Why is it called a sub?
Whether you call it a sub, grinder, hoagie, hero, or something else, it’s a sandwich with a fascinating and delicious history.
Intrigued? Read on to learn more about the sub versus sandwich shop debate!
Grinder: It’s the Bread
Subs have been around since the beginning of the 20th century. Common in Italian-American communities, people first called them “grinders.” That name came from the bread used to make the sandwiches. You had to grind your teeth to get through the chewy Italian bread. People still use this name for the sandwich, especially in New England, and it’s common enough that most people will know what you’re talking about if you ask for a grinder.
The more common name “sub” would take over during World War II.
It Looks Like a Submarine
New London, Connecticut, claims the title of sub capital of the world. Not to be confused with the Submarine Capital of the World, a title that belongs to nearby Groton, CT, home to the Naval Submarine Base. During the Second World War, sailors stationed on the submarines ate a lot of sub sandwiches, made by New London resident Benedetto Capaldo. During the war, the submarine base commissary ordered nearly 500 subs a day. Benny had to hire four people to help him keep up with all sandwich orders. When the sailors shipped out, they took their love of sub sandwiches with them. They also took the new name with them. “Sub” had largely taken over from “grinder” because—you guessed it—it looks like a submarine.
Call It What You Like: Nadeau’s is serving up the best subs and sandwiches!
So what do you call a sub? Grinder, hero, hoagie, or the unique-to-Boston-spuckie? No matter what you like to call your sandwich, we can promise you’ll be happy you stopped into Nadeau’s to satisfy your craving!