Friday, April 27, 2007

Super_ap's School of Sandwiches

There's a very important part of my life that I've never talked about on here before, something that I've been doing for a very long time, and that is eating sandwiches. I have a lot of experience with sandwiches and I've been enjoying them since as long as I can remember. So I would like to take this time to give some tips and advice to the novice sandwich eaters out there. Let's start this off with some tips on preparing the sandwich, then move on to advice on how to eat the sandwich, and then finish off with some things you should definitely avoid when it comes to sandwiches.

[Note - most of these tips will be directed towards men. That's not to say women can't follow this advice, just do so at your own pace for the sake of keeping your femininity]

Choice of bread is paramount to making a good sandwich. Well - maybe not that important. All sorts of bread can be your friend here so you can make different and interesting sandwiches and never get bored. For example, making a wrap-type sandwich with a tortilla gives the traditional sandwich a southern twist. Or getting cheese bread from the deli will also create a tasty sandwich. Just make sure you don't pick something stupid like focaccia - follow this simple rule when it comes to choosing bread: if you can't pronounce it - don't eat it.

Next comes the placement of meats, cheeses and condiments. This is very important. Some people might tell you that it doesn't matter what order this stuff is placed together on the sandwich, since, when you eat it, it all gets mixed together anyway. Wrong. Those people are idiots. And seriously, who are you going to trust? Some idiot? No. I didn't think so. Heck - you are reading my blog so obviously you trust me. Ok, back to the order. Let's start like this. A sandwich is basically a carbon copy of any meal that is now built for travel form, right? You have the main 'meat' part, you have the 'salad' part, and you have the dinner roll part. When you go out for a nice steak dinner, do you mix all the different bits together? No, didn't think so. So therefore follow these steps in terms of placement for the different parts of the sandwich:

Starting at the top of the sandwich:

The top part of the bread should only be touching the mayonnaise. Now I suppose the mayo is optional. But really, skipping the mayo is like going for Chinese food and skipping the fortune cookie at the end, so don't leave out the mayo. Unless you are like allergic to it or something. If that can even happen. Whatever.

Next to the mayo should be lettuce and/or tomatoes. This is where the 'salad' part of the sandwich shines. You could go crazy here and add other vegetables, but it's not necessary. Stick with the basics and you will be satisfied.

After the veggie part comes the second most important part of the sandwich: the cheese selection. Choosing the correct cheese is like picking a wine to match your dinner. They say red should be paired with red meats while white should be paired with poultry and fish. This is very similar as to how you should pick your cheese. If you have a flavourful meat like Montreal smoked meat or a spicy salami, your cheese should not be too strong, in an effort to not overpower the taste of the meat. However, if you are picking a more common meat like black forest ham or turkey breast, the cheese should be stronger, like a flavourful havarti or a sharp gouda. Don't forget about non traditional cheeses like goat cheese and feta. Placed in the right type of sandwich, these cheeses can really make for an outstanding sandwich.

The most important part of the sandwich is the meat selection. Without meat, there is no sandwich. If you take only one thing away from this article, remember that last sentence. Too many times I see wasted attempts at a great sandwich, only to be missing the meat. Its like a nice looking car with no engine; it looks good but you're not really going anywhere. Meat type is not so important. There's a lot of different tastes out there and I can respect that. But here's some interesting tips: make sure to put enough meat on your sandwich - if you put too much and you can't finish the sandwich then you can say that you have done a great job and made the perfect sandwich. Conversely, if you are still hungry after finishing said sandwich - you have failed. Another helpful tip would be to be creative and mix your meat types together: cajun chicken and hungarian salami make for a powerful punch, while prosciutto and honey ham are incredibly tasty when paired together. One final tip for choosing meats is this, it's actually quite simple but too often forgotten: bacon. Bacon can successfully be added to ANY sandwich. Not only that, it SHOULD be added to any sandwich.

Under the meat and before the bottom piece of bread is where traditional condiments such as mustard, ranch dressing, salt and pepper, or even wasabi should be placed. Experiment with different mustards, my personal favourite is honey mustard. Also experiment with different condiments you have in the fridge. I find bbq sauce to be very refreshing on a cold sandwich. Also, 3 cheese ranch salad dressing is quite good too.

Now that you know how to make a proper sandwich, what kind of teacher would I be if I didn't teach you how to eat a proper sandwich. That would be like teaching a man to drive, but not teaching that same man how to pick up women. When you eat a sandwich, eat the first half holding it "right side up" and the second half "upside down". Some sandwiches are much better in one orientation, due to placement of meat, cheese, condiments and vegetables as we discussed earlier. By following this rule, you will always be eating your sandwich the correct way half of the time. For some of you, this will be an inconsequential tip, for others it might change your life. (A side note for veteran sandwich eaters only: if you like, you can eat the first half of the first half in the primary orientation and the second half of that first half in the secondary orientation. The second half of the sandwich can then be consumed in the preferred orientation).

Finally, let's talk about some things you should avoid when it comes to sandwiches. When you ask someone to make you a sandwich (ie: mom, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend (I don't discriminate against sandwich eaters who prefer the company of the same gender)) make sure you are explicitly clear about how you would like your sandwich made. There is nothing worse than having to throw away a poorly made sandwich, since all the ingredients will have been wasted. Also, doing this really upsets the person who made the sandwich, so it should be avoided as much as possible. Another tip I would recommend would be to always try to keep your fridge stocked with the necessary ingredients to make a good sandwich. There's nothing more upsetting than wanting a sandwich and not being able to make one, so be prepared. And my final tip for this subject is to wash your hands before eating a sandwich. Since you will be eating what you were just holding, it makes sense to have clean hands. Otherwise you might as well just lick your dirty hands. I will mention that there is one solution to this, if say, you can't wash your hands for some reason (ie: outdoors, water is shut off, it's 3am and you don't want to wake anyone in your house by turning on the taps), try holding the sandwich by one corner of the sandwich and not touching any other part of the bread. Eat the sandwich up to that point only, and then toss the 'dirty' corner in the garbage. I don't advise you do to this often, as it's very wasteful, and also, if you put the sandwich down for a second to have a drink of something, and then go to pick it up again and you have forgotten which was the 'dirty' corner, you are totally boned.

Till next time, stay safe and have fun.

11 comments:

Palmer said...

A tear came to my eye by the time I hit the part about the cheese.

FINALLY someone I know shares my passion for sandwiches!

You and I have connected on a new level my friend.

Matt said...

this has to be James' longest post ever (by far)

James said...

I am very happy you guys liked it. Please don't be shy to contact me at any hour with your sandwich concerns and questions.

Ferda said...

if I have to hear one more time about the cheese touching the mayo I will scream! I get this lecture almost everytime I make a sandwich...

David said...

Bill at the Bent Coin, now he knows how to make a good sandwhich. I don't like it when those part timers are on sandwhich duty, they can't be trusted.

You should write a book about this!

Dish said...

Ok. About putting the mayo or mustard directly on the bread layer - what about the soggy bread issue. Isn't it much more wise to use a bread layer, then a lettuce layer and THEN a condiment layer for each end of the sandwich to prevent the condiments from sogging up the bread?

Matt said...

I prefer the condiments sogging up the bread, in opposed to splattering all over the shirt.

James said...

Personally, I prefer to eat my sandwich right after it's made. Therefore preventing the 'soggy bread' from happening. I can see your point though, if say, you made your sandwich in the morning before work, and ate it 5 hours later at lunch.

I have eaten premade sandwiches this way before, and haven't noticed the soggy bread to bother me.

James said...

Dave - Bill in the Bent Coin does know how to make a good sandwich. I personally enjoy his egg salad sandwiched the best. Complete with lettuce, tomatoes, and cuccumber.

Matt said...

every time I see this thread I get hungry....

James said...

Haha. Ya. Samething. I'm thinking Arby's.