Quick Recipes and Easy

Po-Boys: The Food of the South

A po-boy consists of a piece of French bread. Typically the French bread is cut in half. On the bottom half is usually placed the main ingredient of the sandwich, usually items such as fried seafood, roast beef, or hot sausage just to name a few. On the top half is where the items which make up the term “dressed” are usually placed, i.e. tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise and lettuce. The two halves are place together to make what is known as a po-boy.

Now, you question, “What makes a excellent po-boy stand out above the rest? The first key ingredient is the bread.

French bread comes in all shapes and sizes. Typically it is presented in a straight loaf. The loaf is then cut into smaller sections to make the piece of bread the sandwich is to be made on. The hardness of the bread is an vital factor when determining the best po-boy. The bread should be crispy when bitten into, but not so crunchy as to remind you of chewing rocks, but the bread should not be so soft that you have to tear a piece of it off in order to get it separated from the sandwich.

Another key ingredient is the meat of the sandwich. The two most well loved po-boys found in the city are roast beef and fried shrimp. The roast beef should be tender and dripping with brown gravy. When it comes to the roast beef, the sloppier the sandwich the better. The shrimp should be fried to a golden brown and the amount should be enough to fall off the sandwich as you are eating it. The dressing should be according to your tastes. If using mayonnaise, I suggest enough on the bread to coat the bread and then a small extra. I also recommend fresh crisp shredded lettuce, ripe tomatoes, and crispy fresh pickles. Other items typically placed on the bread are butter, hot sauce, and even tartar sauce to replace mayonnaise. I also recommend trying dipping the sandwich in ketchup and accompanying this sandwich with a side of French fries.

So next time you’re in the south take a look around and find a po-boy shop that claims it has the best po-boys in the south. Give it a try, keeping in mind what I stated above, and rate the shop yourself. Question yourself, “Is the roast beef sloppy? Is the fried shrimp fried to a golden brown? Was the sandwich dressed the way I wanted it?” Then when people question who has the best po-boy in the south you can assuredly say you have the right answer.

Michael Russell

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