The Sandwich Century: Prelimiwow
Along with all the other exciting and annoying content to hit this site in 2011, I am getting ready to kick off a special feature called The Sandwich Century. Over the course of the year, I will prepare, consume, and document a hundred different sandwiches, and you will follow it all with jealous minds and hungry hearts.
Why? I like sandwiches, that’s why. Bread, filling, topping, condiment and I’m a happy man. Feeding myself and the constant demand for content of Ludic Live readers? Why, it’s a frozen British empiricist, by which I mean a stone cold Locke. So please watch this space over the upcoming months as I explore the nooks and crannies of what can be found between two slices of bread. But, before we get started, a few rules:
1. Hamburgers (and hamburger-related items like the cheeseburger, the patty melt, the veggie burger, the slider, and the Jucy Lucy) and hot dogs (and hot-dog-related items like the bratwurst, the Maxwell Street polish, the Italian sausage, the chili dog, and the choripán) are not considered, under my admittedly idiosyncratic rules, “sandwiches”. I allow for certain similar variants — for instance, I will be covering the loosemeat sandwich and the sausage sandwich — but hamburgers and hot dogs are their own thing, and the subject of another series of blog posts. Or, given the damage I will wreak on my body with this little experiment, another lifetime. Likewise, I will be covering some quirky exemptions like the bagel sandwich, the gyro, and the pinwheel, but I will be avoiding tacos, burritos and tostadas.
2. On the same angle, I won’t be covering anything where baking the bread is an intrinsic part of the sandwich-making process, such as the calzone or the bierock. Too much trouble. Am I lazy? Of course! If I wasn’t, I’d be tackling something more ambitious than the sandwich.
3. Please don’t write me to complain that your favorite sandwich isn’t included. I’m not going for completeness here. Also, keep in mind, I’m really aiming for sandwich modality: that is, my distinctions are more along the lines of ‘types’ of sandwich rather than specific ingredients. Thus, I’m going to fold about a million different variants into fairly generic single examples like the Italian sub, the croque-monsieur, and the cold cut sandwich.
4. Likewise, don’t get mad if I make a sandwich in a different way than you’re used to. For one thing, even in the area of cuisine, authenticity tends to be a dead end. For another, well, frankly, I live in San Antonio, and there are a hell of a lot of ingredients that are going to be next to impossible for me to track down here, so I will be making substitutions where I deem it necessary. Unless you think you have a good case for a TSG lawsuit, don’t bother saying stuff like where you grew up, a grilled cheese sandwich doesn’t have cheese on it. All that said, please don’t hesitate to suggest a favorite sammy of yours I might have missed — I’ve already got my hundred picked out, but I’m willing to make substitutions if I hear about good ones.
5. The fact that I’ll be making most or all of these sandwiches myself at home won’t preclude me from chowing down on sandwiches I encounter during excursions out into the wide world. If I run into a particularly good (or particularly bad) example of the sandwich arts while on my travels, I’ll be sure to document it here (with the caveat that I won’t go out of my way to review sandwich offerings from big-time chain restaurants unless I find them especially noteworthy). In fact, I expect most of the best sandwiches I’ll run into are ones from restaurants and not ones I craft in my poorly equipped kitchen.
I’m really looking forward to this, and I hope you’ll join me in my sandwich odyssey. Veritas sandvicius manet in aeternum!