Russo gives a detailed, but not long-winded overview of the history of the sandwich and pays homage to many of the standards, as well as some of the more obscure (yet historical) works not frequently seen in public. Dessert sandwiches, open-face and pita filled creations are included, as well as the common hamburger and frankfurter (both included since they fall within Russo's definition of sandwich). Yes, the standard Peanut Butter, Club, and Fried Bologna and Grilled Cheese sandwiches are there (including some trivia about the sandwiches themselves), but there's far more to it:
- The Elvis, a sandwich fit for the King of Rock and Roll: peanut butter, butter, banana and bacon on white bread
- Chip Butty, an English French-fry sandwich (did you know that 'butty' is 'sandwich' in Welsh?)
- Toasted Chocolate Sandwich (possibly created by Hershey's to sell more chocolate)
- Fluffernuffer, invented in 1913 by Emma Curtis of the Curtis Marshmallow Factory
- Spamwich, made with SPAM, of course - a product that's as wildly popular in Hawaii as it is the butt of jokes in Canada.
There are also some fairly sophisticated sandwiches that once seen should make a regular appearance on your table:
- Croque-Monsieur, more than a glorified grilled cheese with ham
- Curried Chicken Salad sandwich, with roots in Buckingham Palace
- Denver Sandwich, similar to a Western omelet, with possible roots in the Chinese dish Egg Foo Young
- Felafel Sandwich, with a unique-looking felafel rolled in sesame seeds
- Grilled Portobello Sandwich, a super-yummy looking balsamic marinated mushroom with roasted red pepper and mozarella on a ciabatta bun.
Okay, I think you're starting to get the picture.
|Jeremy loves sandwiches even
though he's still not big
enough to eat one.
Instructions for building the sandwiches are very well written, with ingredients on the left and directions on the right, with notes at the bottom for any variations or extra tidbits of information.
If you love sandwiches or if you're someone who has trouble deciding what to do with the leftover turkey dinner, I recommend picking up The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches.
Deciding which sandwich to recreate was a challenge. Did I want to try a standard, something fancy-pants, or something more on the wacky side? I decided to go with sardine. Sardines aren't the first thing someone of my generation thinks of when you say "do you want a sandwich?" Maybe my parents. Certainly my grandparents generation.
Sardines, in my opinion, are an up-and-coming food. They're full of iron, calcium (from the bones), Omega-3s and they're low in mercury and other toxins since they're such a small fish.
Russo's sardine sandwich is on rye bread (as it should be) and uses sardines packed in oil, spicy mustard, lemon juice and red onion. The sandwich itself was initially brought to North America by Scandinavian immigrants and quickly made its way into New York delis. And Russo doesn't fail to mention the downside of the sardine sandwich - fragrant breath that might not appeal to the average person sitting nearby.
|My sardine sandwich on a medium rye. I opted out of the
hard-boiled eggs, however, I couldn't say "no" to the mayo.
My sardine sandwich was on a medium rye bread, and it was excellent. The lemon removes some of the fishy taste you get with sardines (not that I mind it), and gives it a lighter taste.
Try other tasty recipes