The NFL Kick-Off Game 2012 Calls for Heroes


Are you ready for some football? A Wednesday night party? That's right. This year's NFL kick-off game is Wednesday, September 5 at 8:30 (EST). That's when the reigning Super Bowl Champions, the New York Giants, will take on The Dallas Cowboys.

Who's gonna win? I'm going with the Giants. What are we gonna eat? I'm going with sandwiches. The game is mid-week, so the meals have to be easy, fast, and low-maintenance, and sandwiches score on all counts.

Since I'm going with the New York Giants, I'm also going with New York Heroes. Called a Hoagie in Philadelphia, a Grinder in Rhode Island, and a Sub in most other parts of the US, the Hero is a colossal sandwich consisting of several layers of cold cuts, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onions served on a long, crusty Italian roll. It's typically dressed with olive oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper; however, mayo, mustard, pickles, and pepperoncini, (Italian sweet peppers) can (and should) be added.

This super-sized sandwich was introduced  to America by Italian immigrant shipyard workers during WWI. Renowned food writer Clementine Paddleford inadvertently christened it when she proclaimed, “You have to be a hero to finish one.”

There are many Hero variations, but I favor solid Italian pork meats such as chewy soppressata, salty prosciutto, and pistachio-studded mortadella.

How about you? What kind of Hero do you like? What will you be eating during the game on Wednesday?

Photo credit: Matt Armendariz; from The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches by Susan Russo.