A good sandwich
March 4, 2015 § 7 Comments
You might be forgiven for thinking I’m a little obsessed with sandwiches, given that I’ve written about Marmite sandwiches in the past. Indeed, some days I feel as though my life is one big sandwich-making exercise: I have a sandwich for lunch most days, and I make them for my children’s school lunches every day.
But today I want to address a very important issue: not so much the issue of a good sandwich, but the question that keeps me awake at night: which is the very best sandwich?
You see, I have made good sandwiches in my life. I am partial to ciabatta filled with steak, caramelised onions, blue cheese and rocket, or chicken mayo, crispy bacon, brie and cranberry sauce. Oh, how the thought of those sandwiches makes my mouth water. They are very good sandwiches, dear reader, but they are not the Best Sandwich.
There are people in the world, bless their souls, who believe that an egg mayo sandwich is the Best Sandwich. They are the people at funerals who swarm around the table in the church hall afterwards, pouncing with delight – and no decorum whatsoever – on those sulphurous, despicable concoctions that must surely issue forth from Hell itself.
And answer me this, egg mayo sandwich eaters – why do you never make egg mayo sandwiches at home? Why do you fall upon them, trampling each other in your haste to eat them, as though they are the rarest truffles, gruntled from the ground by French pigs, and unavailable unless some poor sod pops his clogs? You can buy eggs and mayonnaise at any supermarket, for goodness sake. Make your own, make them more often, and get a grip. Just stay away from me when you do.
But I digress, dear readers. Let me continue with your education. The Best Sandwich is not a bacon buttie, or a club sandwich, or even a BLT. The Best Sandwich is the humble cheese and tomato sandwich, for never were two ingredients (three, if you count the bread) more destined to be together.
A cheese sandwich is a wonderful thing, to be sure, but the addition of tomato just adds that little je ne sais quoi, that little zing of acid and the right amount of crunch, and juicy sweetness when tomatoes are in season and at the height of their powers.
An added bonus is that a cheese and tomato sandwich is practically a salad! Don’t believe me? Check out your local restaurant menu under ‘salads’. Run your finger down the list till you get to Caprese salad – what do you see there? Cheese and tomato, and maybe some basil for colour. Some places have the temerity to add avocado – that other food ingredient that must surely come from the devil – but the establishments worth visiting know that a Caprese is just a cheese and tomato sandwich without the bread.
And if you don’t already know this, a Caprese salad is the only salad worth eating in any case. All of the others are a huge waste of effort – all that endless chewing for very little flavour in return. And they don’t even fill you up – at least a Caprese will keep you going for a while thanks to the cheese. But I digress again…
If the combination of cheese and tomato is not the best in the world, pray tell me why it is used with such gay abandon in the world’s iconic dishes? I present Margherita pizzas, pasta with Napoletana sauce and parmesan, and macaroni cheese topped with tomato slices as exhibits A, B and C. And, at those selfsame funerals I mentioned above, why do the cheese and tomato sandwiches disappear faster than even the egg mayo sandwiches? Can you explain that? Huh? Huh? Can you?
I can. It’s because they’re the best. Obviously.
But the final reason, and I think you’ll find it a compelling one, is that a cheese and tomato sandwich can be elevated to Even Greater Heights, by making it into a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich. And toast, as I have established in a previous post, is medicine.
You have to agree, I’m afraid. The evidence is overwhelming. All of the other choices are good sandwiches – egg mayo excluded – but cheese and tomato is the Best Sandwich of all.
* This blog is the third post in a ‘two bloggers, one topic’ challenge devised by Dave Luis and me. We had the same topic and published at the same time, without seeing each other’s posts. You can see what Dave wrote about this topic at http://www.bloggsymalone.wordpress.com.