The sandwich issue

The Food section of the New York Times yesterday was The Sandwich Issue: 11 pages on:

PILE IT HIGH. In the space between two slices of bread lies a world of possibilities, from sub to club, from po’ boy to beef on weck and beyond. Here, we celebrate everything that makes a great sandwich.

A series of stories (from many hands) on sandwiches, with extensive details about particular sandwiches, their variants from place to place, their differing names, and so on. Great stuff, which I hope the NYT will transform from the broadsheet format on cheap newsprint to a ordinary book with high-quality photos.

The front page has a wonderful sandwich montage, which I can only reproduce bits of. The top section:

(#1)

The second section overlaps with the first:

(#2)

And the third section finishes off that sub and adds a bit.

The text for the front page:

PILE IT HIGH. In the space between two slices of bread lies a world of possibilities, from sub to club, po’ boy to beef weck and beyond. Here, we celebrate everything that makes a great sandwich.

One summarizing story: “A Field Guide to the American Sandwich: A celebration of the sandwich, and an attempt to create a taxonomy for its many diverse forms” by Sam Sifton:

Here is a celebration of the sandwich’s diversity in the United States, an attempt to bring order to the wild multiplicity of its forms.

But first: What is a sandwich? The United States Department of Agriculture declares: “Product must contain at least 35 percent cooked meat and no more than 50 percent bread.” But a sandwich does not require meat! Merriam-Webster is slightly more helpful: “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between.”

For the purposes of this field guide, we have laid down parameters. A hamburger is a marvelous sandwich, but it is one deserving of its own guide. The same holds for hot dogs, and for tacos and burritos, which in 2006, in the case known as Panera v. Qdoba, a Massachusetts judge declared were not sandwiches at all. Open-faced sandwiches are not sandwiches. Gyros and shawarmas are not sandwiches. The bread that encases them is neither split nor hinged, but wrapped. [Still, the special section doesn’t entirely disdain pockets and open-faced sandwiches.]

There are five main families of sandwich in The New York Times Field Guide.

There are sandwiches made on Kaiser or “hard” rolls.

There are sandwiches made on soft buns.

There are sandwiches made on long hero or sub rolls.

There are sandwiches made on sliced bread.

And there are what we call “singulars,” which are those creations on bread that falls outside these other groups but are still vital to the sandwich landscape, like the muffuletta.

There’s more, a lot more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: