The Lost Art of Creating a Sandwich
Sorry Mr. Bittman, but you are wrong. “The sandwich has become staid and unimaginative“? “We’ve allowed sandwich-making to become something that is either done by someone else or a task to be squeezed in between breakfast and taking the kids to the bus“? In his article “Every ‘Wich Way – How to Create an Artful Sandwich” on nytimes.com, Mark Bitman – food journalist, writes about how people forgot how to make “good” sandwiches. For example with leftovers. Or people “showcasing a variety of unusual ingredients and allowing individuals to throw them together“. Like Dikembe Mutombo always said “Not in my house!”.
Within my “Ode to the Sandwich” I quoted Tim Hayward’s feelings towards sandwiches and it is still more than true for myself. But that’s me. I definitely need to agree with Mark, people are lazy. I get crazy comments about my sandwiches, saying “Wow, they look so good. Everytime I see one of your sandwiches on Instagram or Facebook, I want to have one myself.” or “Can you make me one too?“. I would like to quote Mr. Bittman here, sandwiches are easy to make, just be creative:
“It all starts with good bread, a commodity that’s easy enough to find. It continues with spreads, which need not be that out of the ordinary but should be seasoned assertively enough to not disappear. The “body” of the sandwich — which may be open-faced or not — is the key, of course, and it’s here that it pays to open the vault: not just tuna but anchovies, not just ham but prosciutto, not hamburger but beef tartar and so on.” (via nytimes.com)
I use several breads: baguette, toast, self-baked whole grain, bagel, bread rolls… (And most of us live in Germany – the country of breads). I love using leftovers: not only meat like chicken but also whatever the fridge has to offer: zucchini, steak and mushrooms, or poached eggs & baked beans. I use spreads like my favorite honey mustard or mayonnaise, Korean BBQ sauce, teriyaki or I just marinate the ingredients in some sauces (soy, Korean BBQ, etc.). Open, closed, whatever. Just add these three things: bread, “body”, spread – and you get as perfect results as I do. You can get yourself a contact grill which makes the experience even better. (If you put anything on a sandwich with melted cheese, it will taste delicious.)
I am wondering if the sandwich will have as much attention as the burger has right now. In Germany burger restaurants are the new pop-up stores, the new coffee places, or you could say “burger is the new black”. Don’t get me wrong I love burgers but it’s funny to see how this trend develops. What I wanted to say: I can imagine that such a trend could happen to the sandwich soon. A while ago the news announced that Subway surpassed McDonald’s. Well, I hate both but I really NEVER EVER go to subway. I once did, puked and will never go back again. More and more tiny stores open with their own delights. Here in Düsseldorf the first Bánh mì store opened. So there is one sandwich store. Now, count 1 and 2 together and you could see that sandwich shops will spread out like burgers do right now. I would look forward to it. In fact it’s hard to get a decent sandwich out there – something creative with bread, body and spread.