History of the Po'Boy

The New Orleans Po' Boy (poo-boy) is the generic name for a New Orleans sandwich made with French bread. It's sometimes called a "poor boy", and can be filled with fried oysters, shrimp, fish, soft-shelled crabs, crawfish, roast beef and gravy, roast pork, meatballs, smoked sausage and more. In New Orleans, when you order one, if you want mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomatoes on it, you will say "I would like it dressed". If you don't want anything on it you say "I would like it undressed".

The Po' Boy was invented by two brothers, Clovis and Benjamin Martin, in 1929 at their restaurant in the French Market. Story is that it began during a local transit worker's strike. The two brothers felt sorry for the workers, and would save the end cuts of roast beef for those "poor boys", and began offering them sandwiches made from leftovers from their restaurant's back door. For a few cents, a striker could buy a sandwich filled with gravy and trimmings on French Bread.

Before long it became known as the Po' Boy, and started being filled with seafood, primarily fried oysters and shrimp. Eventually they started putting fried Hot Sausage, Catfish, and many other things.

The main part of it is the New Orleans French bread. The bread is very light and soft in the center and when it is toased, the outside becomes crispy. Now if you bake a New Orleans recipe for French bread outside of the state, it will not turn out the same because of the difference in humidity and water. The good news is that now you can find bread that is close.

If you really want New Orleans French Bread, consider ordering it Next Day Air. I always order alligator and crawfish from there, and when I do, I have them put a few loafs so I can make my Po'Boys with it.
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