A po' boy (also po-boy, po boy, or poor boy) is a traditional
submarine sandwich from Louisiana. It almost always consists of meat or seafood,
usually fried, served on
baguette-like Louisiana French bread.
Left: Shrimp po' boy
A key ingredient that differentiates po' boys from
and grinders is the bread. Louisiana French bread is different from the
traditional American baguette, in that it has a flaky crust with a soft, airy
center. This is generally attributed to the high ambient humidity causing the
yeast to be more active. It also differs from the bread usually used for
sub-style sandwiches in the rest of the country, which has a soft exterior.
Typically, the French bread comes in two foot long "sticks". Standard sandwich
sizes might be a half po' boy, about six inches long, and a full po' boy at about a foot long. But they can be prepared
in longer and shorter versions for group events.
The traditional versions are served hot and include fried shrimp and oysters.
Soft shell crab, catfish,
crawfish, Louisiana hot sausage,
roast beef, and
french fries are other variations frequently served. The latter two usually are
served with roast beef gravy.
A "dressed" po' boy has lettuce, tomato and mayonaise; pickles and onion are
optional. Non-seafood po' boys will also usually have mustard, but the customer
is expected to specify whether they want "hot" or "regular" - the former being a
coarse grained Creole mustard and the latter being American yellow mustard.