In defense of sandwiches; or, Rise of the Bread Tories

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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21 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    You left out sauerkraut, without which no meat and melted cheese sandwich remains a mere shadow on the cave wall.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Rats. s/no/a/Report

  3. Avatar North says:

    I’m with you 100% E.D.
    My sister and brother were diagnosed with wheat gluten allergies. Fortunatly for them the stuff merely induces cold like symptoms on them. I have so far been spared, not that it’s likely that I would change my eating habits even if I were to turn out allergic or (heaven forfend) intolerant.

    My own adulation comes not of sandwiches in general but the bread itself and most especially the act, no the art, no the ancient noble and high art of bread making. My Grandmother was a prolific (and obsessive compulsive) bread maker. I still have many of her recipes several of which are specific about what phase of the moon is appropriate for bread making and is especially adamant about the influence of the tides on the mysterious and magical process of yeasts and bread dough rising. I lack the time and proximity to the ocean necessary to do her recipes justice but I can still make a mean loaf of bread though they pale when compared to the magical golden on the outside snowy cloud like on the inside products of her skill.

    If old Scratch were to appear in a burst of flame and offer that I trade my immortal soul for one last childhood afternoon on her kitchen floor smelling the bread baking I would be sorely tried. Sorely indeed.Report

  4. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    My father has Celiac disease as well. It nearly killed him before he was diagnosed. He wasn’t too happy with his Catholic priest when the priest wouldn’t consecrate corn or rice wafers instead, but I understand that the wine is considered sufficient, at least theologically.

    There’s a simple test for Celiac disease, and if you think that you might be at risk, you really need to have it done. Ask your doctor. (I was lucky.)

    As to sandwiches, there’s nothing better than raw milk Camembert on Pain Poilâne, possibly with some arugula and a nice glass of Beaujolais. I do miss Paris…Report

  5. Havarti cheese. Real butter. Fresh sourdough bread. Apply heat. Consume. Enjoy. That is all.Report

  6. Avatar Clint says:

    Trader Joes’ Wasabi Mayonaise is my new favorite nector-o’-the-gods sandwich condiment.Report

  7. Avatar Dan Miller says:

    It’s a classic, and unfairly tarred as a kids sandwich, but a crusty baguette with real butter, peanut butter, and jelly is absolutely delicious.Report

  8. Avatar Jim says:

    Sandwiches have their charms, but for real comfort and satisfaction nothing beats soup noodles in a really good chicken broth with mustard greens and pork. In February.

    Just reading people’s comments and suggestions is pretty satisfying too though. Jason, and TL and Clint – thtaaall sounds delicious.

    “Rice noodles are fine for Asian dishes, but not so much for spaghetti. ”

    They make rice macaroni in Vietnam, available here, and it looks absolutely horrible – like something unborn. I have tried whole wheat pastas and they come out with a mouth feel like some kind of plastic. I don’t like the tatse of durum wheat so I avoid pasta altogether, because the alternatives are so inadequate.Report

  9. Avatar Alex Knapp says:

    I’m gluten intolerant, and I find that I don’t miss bread or pasta at all. When I sneak a bite or two, I can’t get over how bland and tasteless they really are. Bread, etc., is really just a delivery vehicle for real food.

    Also, I can’t seem to stop losing weight, so there’s something to be said for avoiding foods with gluten in them.Report

  10. Avatar bearing says:

    mmmm… banh mi….Report

  11. Avatar g.e.w. says:

    Do something to your onions. Depends on what kind of sandwich you want, but if you have the foresight, slice up a red onion and pickle the rings. Then you can throw a few rings onto any sandwich, and they add something crunchy, acidic, tangy, and, well, onion-y. Failing that, take the extra 10-15 minutes needed to caramelize an onion, red or white/yellow. Throw some sugar and salt onto it as it cooks, don’t do it too hot or too fast, and it’ll change everything.Report

  12. Avatar lukas says:

    Corn pasta work fine for me. They don’t taste exactly like the real thing, of course, but they are a decent substitute, and they add a little note all of their own to a dish.Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to lukas says:

      Another good substitute (really more of an authentic food choice in its own right) is the buckwheat crepe, called a galette. Despite the name, buckwheat is perfectly safe for people with celiac disease. A buckwheat crepe filled with ham and cheese, some fried potatoes, and a little country-style French mustard makes an excellent meal. Pair it with cider from northern France if you can find it. The American stuff is way too sweet.Report

  13. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Thanks for everyone’s suggestions! I found myself overly hungry all day yesterday, though…Report

  14. Avatar Tanya says:

    I miss sandwiches, especially New Orleans Po-Boys. And I miss beer. I do a monthly news search on Celiac hoping I’ll come across a headline such as “Cure for Celiac Discovered! Say yes to bread and beer!” At least this time I found this blog. Looks interesting. I think I’ll have a look around this evening while I enjoy the only wheat product I can have: whiskey.Report

  15. Avatar Scott says:

    I miss my mother’s homemade bread. She made three types, white bread, a 50/50 white/wheat, and Challah. There was nothing better than to get a heel piece to use to make my tuna sandwiches.Report

  16. Avatar Alarob says:

    I appear to have celiac disease, in that the symptoms cleared up when I stopped eating wheat. My doctor proposed that it was unnecessary to remove a piece of my small intestine for clinical confirmation, and I agreed.

    Sandwiches have been easier to give up than I thought they’d be, but I do miss my reuben expeditions. For some reason almost every small-town café or sandwich shop has the reuben on its menu, even though the other offerings may vary, and nothing else on the menu ever calls for either corned beef or sauerkraut. So I made it a habit when traveling to always order the reuben and compare their differences.

    On a recent trip I persuaded the sandwich maker to grill me a reuben without bread.Report

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