22 May 2012

All Hail "The Sandwich"

There’s nothing better than a good sandwich. Okay so that might be an exaggeration but seriously, a good sandwich is priceless. The basic idea of sandwiches was GENIUS: use bread flavored with condiments to hold together meat, cheese, and (optional) vegetables. It’s easy to make, portable, and there are endless flavor combinations.

I didn’t always like sandwiches, though (gasp!). God love her, my mom made terrible sandwiches for school lunches, with the exception of peanut butter and jelly and tuna salad. I would thank my lucky stars for pizza nights because my parents would order enough to eat leftovers for lunch the next day!

For years, the sandwiches consisted of Miracle Whip, white bread, meat, and cheese. To me, any form of mayonnaise not disguised by a bunch of other ingredients is a sin: I still to this day NEVER use it as a condiment unless I’m making tuna sandwiches: my one exception. White bread—even from my uncle’s bakery—is not my first (or third or fifth) choice for bread: I’m a whole-wheat kinda gal.

So what’s wrong with meat and cheese? Well, nothing’s wrong with lunchmeat—I’m partial to ham and roast beef—and cheeses like Swiss and Provolone. However, my mom loved her olive loaf (yes that’s a real thing), pickle loaf (hated all things pickled until a couple years ago… and I’m still cautious around the “P” word), American cheese which is NOT cheese, and liver sausage: the worst food creation known to man. And if a sandwich consisting of white bread, a generous heap of mayo, and liver sausage wasn’t bad enough, my mom would slap on pickle relish—a condiment I have never and will never like. The Perfect Storm of nauseating sandwich horribleness.

Middle school hit and I demanded to make my own sandwiches, using mustard, ham or turkey, Swiss, and lettuce and tomato. There’s something about the crunch of fresh vegetables that make a sandwich delightful. My point? Good sandwiches are not easy. Some chefs claim it’s in the bread, others the ingredients, and others in the preparation (hot/cold/roasted/grilled)—I say it’s everything.

So what’s my favorite sandwich? Well, I could never decide on all the delicious restaurant options, but my favorite make-at-home amateur sandwich is Peanut Butter Honey and Banana on Wheat. Though I make a mean Panini and an even meaner grilled cheese, I could eat PBHB sandwiches pretty much every day. They’re sweet, salty, fruity: amazing.

How do you like your sandwiches? Are you as picky as I am? Do you hate them with every fiber of your being?

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