by Buck Reed
Sandwich Hall of Fame
Bread might be considered the “staff of life,” but at no time is it more popular than when we place it around another food, accompanied by a smattering of condiments and adorned with lettuce, tomato, and onion. The sandwich might very well be the game changer that may have spurred the bread industry to expand to the glorious heights it has. Fortunes and empires were won and lost on the idea that bread and rolls were needed to make sandwiches. Wars were won, dynasties were established, and whole industries were created under the idea that you could make a meal out of whatever was on hand, place it between two slices of bread, and carry it with you as you start or continue your day! So, for this column, I submit to you The Sandwich Hall of Fame:
When you think of High Tea, and we all have at least heard of it, after the actual tea, we can expect cucumber sandwiches. Even if we never have had one, it at least peaks our curiosity. These sandwiches are more than just sliced cucumber on white bread. Butter or cream cheese with watercress is also a staple of this wonderful snack.
The Monte Cristo dates back to the 1950s and hit its peak when Disney added it to their menu. This sandwich is a close relative to the Croque Monsieur which was a popular sandwich in French lunch or brunch menus.
This is simply a ham and cheese sandwich dipped in an egg batter and fried and often served with maple syrup for dipping
This New Orleans sandwich started out as a round bread made with sesame seeds with a slightly sweet taste made in Sicily. When the Italians immigrated to New Orleans in the 1900s the sandwich was born. This is basically an Italian cold cut with a relish made from peppers and olives. If you go to the Crescent city you do not want to miss this.
Sloppy Joes got their start in Havana Cuba 95 years ago and are today celebrated in the USA on March 18th as National Sloppy Joe Day. It is simply ground beef cooked with tomatoes onions and peppers and although it can be made from scratch, it is just as easy to buy a can that you can add to cooked beef.
Today’s Rachel has close relations the Reuben sandwich in that they are both made with corned beef on rye. But the Rachel’s origins actually predate its cousin by 10 years or so, being made with turkey, ham, or beef with cole slaw and Thousand Island dressing in 1914. The Reuben is generally thought to be introduced in 1925 at a poker game in a New York hotel.
There are many things we could all disagree on, but why not take a little time and see if we can all agree on one thing we might all enjoy…the greatest culinary invention ever: the Sandwich.