Jersey Shore subs (hold the Snooki)
April 14th, 2011
06:15 PM ET
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Kimberly Segal is a CNN Supervising Producer

People associate the Jersey Shore with casinos, salt water taffy and now reality star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi. What does not come to mind, but rightly should, is the South Jersey sub - a signature sandwich is similar to what people in other parts of the country call a hoagie, grinder or hero.

It is not just the medley of meats and cheese that make this sandwich so special. "Atlantic City bread is unlike any other bread that you get anywhere else in the world," says Aaron Marinari, who grew up in this shore town and now lives in California. Marinari has put this theory to the test.

He went to the best deli in his new hometown and bought all the ingredients to try to replicate the sub that he grew up eating. "I put the whole sandwich together but it's nothing compared to home," Marinari adds, "It did not come close to fulfilling my craving for a New Jersey sub."

That does not surprise Fuzzy Sacco, the owner of Sack O' Subs. And he should know since his family has been in the South Jersey sub business since the 1940s. "I think it starts out with the bread because anyone can get the meats," says Sacco.

The bread the local sub shops use is made in Atlantic City. "It is the same recipe that is almost 2000 years old. It's flour, salt, brewer's yeast and water. So there are no secrets here," says Frank Formica owner of Formica Bros. Bakery.

Perhaps there are no secrets but there is a special ingredient, according to Formica: virtually pure water. While serving in the United States Air Force, Formica became a water expert. When he returned to civilian life he decided to use those skills to investigate the water used to make Atlantic City bread.

The water supplying the city comes from the Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer. "It literally is the aquifer that holds the water from the edge of the Pine Barrens, which is the purest underground water source, most scientists say, in the United States." says Formica.

What makes it so pure are the cedar tree roots that lend acid to the water, making it difficult for impurities to form. This acid also keeps the water soft, so less of it is used in dough making. The result, according to Formica is that "It gives our bread a chewier, more consistent, denser quality which is very desirable in making sub sandwiches."

In addition to locals like Marinari, these subs have also been enjoyed by icons such as Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra. "Sinatra loved the sandwiches," recalls Sacco.

As for Snooki, if she walked in the shop asking for a sub, Sacco says he wouldn't know who she was - even if she ordered her sandwich with extra pickles. The lack of recognition probably wouldn't bother the TV reality star. She's now rolling in dough - something people from this historic beach town know an awful lot about.

Editors note: If you are in the Atlantic City area, these are the three of the best-known, decades-old shops in the area:

Sack O' Subs

White House Sub Shop

Down beach in Margate, New Jersey
Dino's Sub & Pizza Shop

Posted by:
Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • America • Dishes • Hungry for Home • New Jersey • Regional Sandwiches • Sandwiches • Travel

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soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Alex

    Most South Jerseyans do call long sandwiches hoagies, but the Atlantic City area is, for whatever reason, a notable exception to the rule. The sub is king betwixt Brigantine and Longport, all the way out to Egg Harbor Township. Beyond that point, you're in solid hoagie country.

    February 1, 2013 at 3:59 am |
  2. Walkfit Platinum Reviews

    Awesome issues here. I'm very glad to look your article. Thanks a lot and I am having a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a mail?

    January 30, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
  3. Jimmy

    Tony Boloney's all the way. They are 100% the new AC sub. Won the Food Network against all those guys above! Now you know!

    April 18, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  4. Name*Stan

    White house by far the best.Sinatra. Cosby etc. Ordered only from the house. One reason .bakery right next to shop. Fresh bread all day

    April 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  5. Judy

    White House subs are the best and the folks born in AC and raised in AC call them subs. We have never called them hoagies. If someone calls them hoagies we know they are not from AC. Next in line is Saco's.

    April 15, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  6. Yakman2

    Lee's Hoagies, Joseph Corropolese Bakery, Tomm'y hoagies,,,can't wait to get back to AC and check these places out.....We owe it all to the food shows....I love all the passion about the different places...except for the Ahole comments....Yum and I don't mean Red Robbin..........

    April 15, 2011 at 9:11 am |
  7. Luis

    If the sandwich looks anything like the individual I'm sure it's fat and full of BS – no nutritonal value – just like the show – no entertainment value.

    April 15, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  8. Andagain

    Amoroso rolls. Only bread that works.

    April 15, 2011 at 8:59 am |
  9. NJ

    Atlantic City is a pit. But The White House is the best. Never had a better hoagie in Philly or South Jersey. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    April 15, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  10. cameron martin

    man carmel indiana is boring.. wish i was in jersey

    April 15, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  11. Bob P.

    I used to get a sub from a cart in Atlantic City back in the mid 50' I ever had. That and eggplant parmesan hero from Santo's on Morris Park Ane. in the Bronx. Still gets my tongue hard.

    April 15, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  12. vinny guido

    wow... nice snickers

    April 15, 2011 at 8:11 am |
  13. Katie

    So that's why she's so fat... she's hogging, I mean eating, all those subs.. She's fat, has a poor personality, poor disposition and lives up to her racial stereotypes...

    April 15, 2011 at 8:11 am |


    April 15, 2011 at 8:11 am |
  15. Ryn45202

    Hoboken bread is superior to Atlantic City bread any day! It's baked in old coal burning ovens and has that dirty Jersey water. THE BEST. If you want a true Italian sub experience go to Fiore's on Adams St in Hoboken. They make their own roast beef (only on Thursday and Saturday), ham, turkey and of course mozzarella. Plus you are served by salty old Italian men. The experience is almost as good as the sub itself.

    April 15, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  16. SJ Native

    "What does not come to mind, but rightly should, is the South Jersey sub – a signature sandwich is similar to what people in other parts of the country call a hoagie, grinder or hero."

    Yes, these shops you referenced are called "sub" shops, but if you talk to anyone from South Jersey/Philly you won't find anyone native to the area calling their sandwich anything but a hoagie. This particular passage makes the writer seem uninformed.

    April 15, 2011 at 7:37 am |
    • snarkaholic

      I've lived in Atlantic City for most of my life and I call it a sub...and always have. The origins of the word hoagie are unknown...

      April 15, 2011 at 7:44 am |
      • SJ Native

        So are you native to South Jersey or did you move there?

        April 15, 2011 at 7:47 am |
    • Jerv

      If you're from Great Britain and call french fries "chips" does that make you uninformed?

      April 15, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  17. snarkaholic

    I live in Atlantic City, and I whole-heartedly agree. Formica's bread in the best I've ever eaten!

    April 15, 2011 at 7:33 am |
  18. Jeff Hurley

    NJ subs are by far superior to anything philly Makes. If you don't say anything they will put cheese whiz on your cheese steak!!! Phillys bread is garbage, SOUTH JERSEY SHOULD BE KNOW FOR THE CHEESE STEAK NOT PHILLY!!

    April 15, 2011 at 6:50 am |
    • snarkaholic

      I agree. Pat's King of Steaks (a Philly-based company) opened a shop here in A.C. It's now closed...permanently.

      April 15, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  19. steelyballz

    dayum...that looks like my pecker on a bun...howz bout sukin on it???

    April 15, 2011 at 6:24 am |
  20. abbe

    And Carolins you can have you're BBQ.

    April 15, 2011 at 6:22 am |
  21. abbe

    And I live in Atlanta, I try to replicate a Hoagie at Publix. The bread there is as close to NJ Philly bread as you can get here. I have to instruct them how to build it....I cringe every time when they say Mustard or Mayo....nooooooo. And seriously NJ and Philly are so close I see them as one in the same in the Hoagie, Pizza,Cheesesteak game.

    April 15, 2011 at 6:20 am |
    • Lorenzo

      You must be on crack if you think Publix's bread is anything like the wonderful stuff I remember from my yoot in the Philly/NJ area. I will agree with you that they have no idea how to make an "Italian sub," but then again, I never order them for that reason. When in Rome, do as the Romans do: Publix, being a FLorida chain, makes a decent (for a supermarket) version of a Cuban sandwich. They even make a special Cuban bread for it. Try finding THAT in New Jersey. But you probably knew that.

      April 15, 2011 at 8:47 am |
  22. abbe

    it 's not the water, it's the wooder!

    April 15, 2011 at 6:12 am |
  23. LeRoy Y

    I live in DC, but am from the Philly area and also have a residence in Southern Jersey about 20 mins away from AC. Here is the first point – it's not a sub and never could be. It's called a hoagie and it's a very specific thing. It could never have, as was suggested in the article that Snooki would like, pickles on it. That's simply not the sandwich.

    Also, I love bbq from Carolina and throughout the south, but there is no such thing as a decent deli south of Baltimore. Sorry. I dont know why. They just dont exist.

    April 15, 2011 at 6:08 am |
  24. Alan

    Take a bite into Snookie's beef certains

    April 15, 2011 at 5:09 am |
  25. MrId

    BBQ sandwich from Bs in Greenville NC would put all these Yankee rations to shame....

    April 15, 2011 at 3:46 am |


    April 15, 2011 at 2:47 am |
    • NYC


      April 15, 2011 at 6:05 am |
      • Smitty

        Goto White House for that good ol italian classic. But also checkout Tony Boloney's for a cheese steak you will be remember!

        April 15, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • ...

      Look over to the left-most column of keys on your keyboard. Find the one that reads "Caps Lock". Press it once before posting again.

      April 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  27. Brian

    North Jersey has the best subs in the world and is home of the world's best sandwich, the sloppy joe. The true sloppy joe is NOT some manwich, ground beef abomination. The true North Jersey sloppy joe is comprised of three slices of rye bread, your choice of (or combination of any two) turkey, ham or roast beef, swiss cheese, cole slaw, and a slathering of russian dressing. As the person said in the article, you cannot go to a store and try to recreate this sandwich by buying these ingredients. The best sloppy joe is in Chatham, NJ at Pascarella Bros. Delicatessen.

    April 15, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • DH

      Hey Brian- I've had the Joes from Chatham (Hickory Tree, right?). They're good, but try Millburn Deli when you get a chance. Town Hall in South Orange is also good (original recipe).

      April 15, 2011 at 8:09 am |
      • soms

        Millburn Deli and Town Hall are good, but the now defunct Village Pantry in South Orange was the true originator of the Sloppy Joe – and a true Sloppy Joe should have two meats not one.

        April 15, 2011 at 8:26 am |
      • DH

        @Soms- I did not know that-thanks! Shame I never tried Village.

        April 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  28. awed1

    snooki's jersey shore is different from philly's jersey shore. snooki does not belong in ac or philly's jersey shore, she ibelongs in the new yawk, hoboken jersey shore. everyone in philly can tell you that snooki's shore is not the real shore!

    April 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • JDevil1735

      Snookie is a Naw Yawka – she has NOTHING whatsoever to do with any part of New Jersey. As for "Philly's Jersey Shore" Philly has no ownership of any of the Jersey Shore anymore than Naw Yawk has any ownership of OUR Jersey Shore – it is ALL New JERSEY's Jersey Shore.

      April 15, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  29. Josie Walker

    We eat our cheesesteaks with provolone but if you ask them they'll put some of that nasty fake whiz on it for ya (and they'll smirk, too at ya).

    April 14, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Coeyagi

      I am glad you put provolone on it, faux-thug Josie, but a Philly cheesesteak has cheez-whiz and I don't think anyone really gives a crap because they are awesome. No one doubts that Snooki is a piece of crap human being like they other guidos and guidettes on Jersey Shore, even though she is Chilean. In summation, you can be good or bad or despite what others perceive of your ingredients. And I perceive Josie to be a faux-thug.

      April 15, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  30. Josie Walker

    The Bakery is right down the street from the White House in case you want some rolls to take back with you. I remember the times you bought a loaf and it was warm in your hands. You didn't even need butter to put on it.

    April 14, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  31. Cassie

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jersey Mike's! Makes me miss home (I live in Chicago) so much!

    April 14, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  32. seemack

    I have to agree with this article. I'm originally from the Jersey shore and have lived on the west coast for over 27 years. I don't even bother with anything they call a sub sandwich out here. There was one place in San Diego where the owners were from the same area of New Jersey as me and they did a great job .

    April 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  33. Dante

    Its a hoagie people. People from South Jersey dont call it a sub.

    April 14, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • Victoria

      SO TRUE!!!! not a single TRUE south jersey soul would think to call it a sub!!!!! blasphemous!

      April 14, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
      • Josie Walker

        You're wrong too Victoria. We call 'em subs in Atlantic City. Just don't walk your a$$ in the White House and start nothin' because we'll throw ya out the place and you'll never get a sub outta there -ever

        April 14, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
      • Coeyagi

        @Josie, wow another typical Jersey faux-thug. You people are predominantly garbage which is why so many folks are hating on you in this thread. Go get lost on a jug handle or stab yourself with a dirty washed-up shore needle.

        April 15, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Afro Sheen

      When was the last time you were in HoagieWay? Not everybody, thank GOD, is from South Joysie.

      April 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Josie Walker

      Sorry Dante, I am PROUDLY Atlantic City, New Jersey born and raised and we always called it a sub!
      If you're a native when you move you stop eating subs because there's NO PLACE LIKE HOME and you by bottled artisian water because the water in Atlantic City that comes from the tap tastes like no where else because it is really pure. Every where else your hair suffers if you're from ACNJ when you move elsewhere out of state and wash your hair you notice it.

      April 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm |


      April 15, 2011 at 2:39 am |
      • Christian

        A majority of SJ Natives do in fact call them "Hoagie's", not "subs".

        And screw Atlantic City people thinking they represent South Jersey, or even have anywhere near the best deli's... its a famous tourist town, that's the only reason its represented in this article. There are plenty of family owned deli's across SJ from the shore to Delaware River that make a hoagie better than you can find in AC.

        April 15, 2011 at 7:50 am |
    • Coeyagi

      Delaware = subs. PA = hoagies. Jersey = subs or hoagie depending on where you are. There, stop your fighting my ignorant children.

      April 15, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  34. the adm

    Perhaps these are the primary reasons why most from the Shore have shallow DNA petri dishes.

    April 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
  35. Pat

    Snooki sub...I just got nauseated.

    April 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  36. twst

    It's true...i'm from the south jersey philly area....anytime i've back in the area i buy 2 dozen rolls. You simply cannot get a good roll anywhere else in the country. Sure not in west virginia

    April 14, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  37. Old SChool

    Mikes .. the one and ONLY!!!

    April 14, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
  38. Afro Sheen

    Ewww. The thought of the Snooki roast beef. I just puked a little in my mouth.

    April 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  39. EWWWW!

    WOW! What a disgusting shmeat sandwich. Just like this:

    Exactly like that.

    April 14, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • James76er

      That's a pretty great graphic. Thanks for sharing. Will pass on.

      April 14, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
  40. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    LOL. This article was just ASKING for it. They had to know.

    April 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • MalaDee


      April 15, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  41. Pawley

    Patrick B sucks bawls!

    April 14, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  42. Patrick B

    Jersey Shore sucks.

    April 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  43. @crowdkiller

    keep on thinking that especially with a city known for its "cheese" steaks and the popular topping is whiz

    April 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  44. @crowdkiller

    keep on thinking that especiallt with a city known for its "cheese" steaks and the popular topping is whiz

    April 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  45. Oliver Tootenbocker

    Do the hoagies come with Herpes?

    April 14, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • MalaDee

      Only if Snooki gets hold of your sausage.

      April 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
  46. Subman

    I was born and raised a couple of blocks from the White House Sub Shop in Atlantic City. Unless you've had one of these subs from the White House or Sack'0s or the Atlantic City Sub Shop, you just can't imagine how good they are. When I go a couple of weeks without one, the craving sets in ... and its true, you just can not get a decent Italian sub anywhere else.

    April 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  47. Crowdkiller

    jersey sucks...Philly Hoagies own anything jersey makes

    April 14, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Norm

      Philly def wins as far as cheese steaks go, but NJ wins as far as subs go. Like the article mentions, it's all in the bread for this contest. (go ask your Philly sub shop where they get their bread) Last tidbit I'd like to throw in, Atlantic City won the 'best tasting water in the US' quite a few times. When I think of AC the last thing I think about is good tasting water, but alas it is true. Which is why AC is known for such great bread, it's the water...

      April 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
      • Mike

        There are no such things as sub shops in Philly. We have hoagies.

        April 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
      • aai305

        Come to Miami, after a night of danicing and boozing there is nothing like a Cuban sandwich.

        April 15, 2011 at 1:36 am |
      • Coeyagi

        Hey, epic genius, you just made the guy's point. Yes, Philly gets their bread for South Jersey, and they all use the same meats, so the only X factor left are the meat popsicles behind the deli counter. And from what I've seen (having lived in NJ, DE, MD and PA at various stages in my life) is that I wouldn't trust NJ folks with a nail file let alone a deli slicer.

        April 15, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • RG

      There's a sub franchise out of Philly called "Primo Hoagies" makes some of the best I've had. Their bread is brought in daily from Philly. The bread for hoagies varies quite a bit and is subjective to personal tastes, some like seeded, some don't.

      April 14, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Hoagie Vacuum

      Sorry but you're wrong. I've had many a sub in both areas and the White House is by far the best.

      April 14, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • NYC

      Philly and Jersey are nothing but little wannabe suburbs of New York. Arthur Avenue rolls, not South Jersey. Philly ? Please. I've been living here for 12 years and have yet to have a sandwich that even comes close to a NY Italian from Arthur Ave.

      April 15, 2011 at 6:04 am |
      • Papo

        Nope. As someone who knows both, Philly and South Jersey both top New York/North Jersey in the sandwich department, and in a lot of cases, in Pizza. NY takes the cake with many types of foreign foods, however.

        April 15, 2011 at 8:41 am |
      • AC11

        NYC only rides on hype...with nothing backing it up.

        April 15, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Ronda

      Jersey subs are great, but the farther north you go, the better. (Same goes for pizza and bagels, too.)

      April 15, 2011 at 7:00 am |
    • Lisa B

      Primo's !!!!

      April 15, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  48. Snookums

    I'm hungry!!

    April 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • @Snookums

      By all means, eat a salami.

      April 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  49. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    Is it named after her due to her known affinity for footlong salami?

    April 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • ahaha

      yes. i also heard it is because the yeast used in the bread is actually cultured from her... nevermind

      April 14, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • RichardHead

      Hey Jdizz – don't you also have an affinity for the footlong salami?

      April 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Well, Mr. Simmons is a good teacher. Heather Brooke ring a bell?

        April 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
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