It's good to know a po'boy preservation society exists. These dedicated folks organized the second annual Po'Boy Preservation Festival, happening this Sunday on five blocks of Oak Street in New Orleans. We were at last year's inaugural fest, and this year the same po'boy fanaticism is expected—panelists on the sandwich's history, a taste-test from local vendors, and even some love for the po'boy's Italian cousin, the muffuletta.
Many theories exist as far as the naming genesis goes: a derivation of the French "pour boire" (literally means "to drink," but colloquially, a "peace offering.") Or they were the free sandwiches given to strikers (the poor boys) in a 1929 strike against a New Orleans streetcar company. Or just a Franglais hodgepodge of a phrase, "pour le boy."
Regardless, it's baguettelike bread filled with shrimp, oyster, catfish, spicy sausage, roast beef, or soft-shell crabs. Even French fries get in there sometimes. This year, about 30 vendors are competing for the "Golden Loaf Award," including Parkway Bakery (roast beef po'boy), Jacques-Imo's Café (duck), and Acme Oyster House (the classic oyster and shrimp). The event homepage even has a live countdown until Sunday's fest.