31 January 2010

The Way of The Sandwich, Part I of I.

   sandwich |ˈsan(d)wɪdʒ| |-wɪtʃ|
    noun    an item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with meat, cheese, or other filling between themeaten as a light meal a ham sandwich.• something that is constructed like or has the form of a sandwich.-New Oxford American Dictionary
A rather prosaic definition, at best.  
If the sandwich were such a droll, plebeian repast, then I ask you; how do you explain the passion in which cultures the world over share of this nearly immaculate food?  I do not in any way intend to discredit anyone's taste here, however, if your idea of a sandwich is what you read above, than you are either about to become enlightened, or you should have already closed this page.
The sandwich is at once; a cultural statement, an expression of one's inner character, and if I may, an evaluation of one's approach to life.  
It is also comfort.  You know, that rather fleeting emotion that seems to only fade further and further in our modern times.
I remember quite well, sitting in my grandma's kitchen, colouring, or petting her cat Boots, while she would make me a tuna salad sandwich.  Or the bean spread and sprouts sandwiches that my mom would send with me to school, completely innocent of flavour, though I would vehemently defend them against my teasing friends; all the while envious of their Oscar Mayer bologna with american cheese on Wonderbread. And let me not disclude the time my dad first made me his secret sandwich, comprised of peanut butter and mayonnaise with banana. Sorry dad, it was revolutionary at the time, I admit, but it is also the reason I have had a completely cringe-inducing aversion to mayonnaise since I was 15.
Naturally, my ideas of all these sandwiches have changed over the years, but they are all cherished memories that bring me comfort.
There is much more that I could convey here about the sandwich as an expression of the existential  nature of Human Kind but instead, let's just make some sandwiches.

20 January 2010

Sandwiches! or, The New Super Food.

Okay, I know.  It's been a long time.

Let me just say I enjoyed all of the bean recipes I never posted.  No further explanation.  They were great, and I am sure some of them will find their way in to this blog at some point.  Moving on...

The downside of living in Portland, (and a reason I've often fantasized of leaving again), has always been a complete, or nearly so, lack of a decent sandwich.  There of course, have been long standing exceptions, such as the Gyro at The Greek Deli on SE Burnside, The New York Style Pastrami at Neumann's German Bakery on NE Sandy, and a few others. However, were it not for the plethora of great Taqueria's in town, lunch would be out.

Until recently.

Now, we have Kenny and Zuke's (two locations!), Bunk, Petisco, and the ever beloved, and personal favourite of yours truly, The Laurelhurst Market. Furthermore, let us not fail to mention, the absolutely insane amount of lunch carts exploding into courtyards of niche eateries all over Portland's hip neighbourhoods.

With the economy in the toilet, this is simply genius.  Less overhead, better prices, smaller menus, equalling better food.  I love it, and when I'm working, and lack the time to prepare food, I am a regular at many of these locations. The lines can be ridiculous at any of these, so consider yourselves warned and get there with enough time to spare. Or, do what I prefer, and brown bag it.


Of course, The Erudite Eater endorses all of the above mentioned.  There will be other references mentioned, as well as inspirational foods mentioned in the coming posts.  What some of these places are doing for their sandwiches is simply earth shattering.  Once again, Portland has headed a trend, coming soon to a city near you.

But I digress.

There are two things that I find well defining in any person.  The ability to accessorize, and the ability to make a proper sandwich.

So, let us begin a new theme.  Perhaps, some of what I have planned will actually get posted here.

Sandwiches! or, The New Superfood.

Until then,


Oh, and a hint:

Bacon Jam.  Yeah, that's right.  I said it.