sandwich

It’s National Sandwich Day! To celebrate, Jagosaurus and I are announcing the fourth Sandwich Party!

Sandwich Party IV will take place from Friday, November 27th, to Sunday, November 30th. If you’ve participated before, you know the drill. If you’re new to the Sandwich Party, you can catch up by browsing the Sandwich Party archives here at Macbebekin or at Hillbilly, Please.

To sum up: you eat a sandwich, post a description, recipe, photo, or other sandwichery on your website, your blog, or Flickr, and send us a link to your post. Jag and I will post updates through the weekend. It’s a Sandwich Party!

For inspiration and appetizing ideas, you might check out Chow’s gorgeous sandwich gallery. For geekier sandwich viewing, head to Scanwiches to see glorious full-color cross-section scans of sandwiches of all descriptions.

More sandwich love from my fellow nerds: xkcd shows how to override a companion’s resistance to making you a sandwich, and unwittingly inspired Bre Pettis and Adam Cecchetti to make a sandwich robot prototype.

Jamie Katz tracks down some of Chicago’s great underground sandwiches, including the Freddy, the mother-in-law, the big baby, and the humdinger.

If you’re thinking that some of the Chicago delicacies Katz decribes hardly qualify as a sandwiches, you’re in good company. Allow me to refer you to one legal definition. To sum it up: according to Worcester Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Locke, a burrito is not a sandwich.

[chef and former USDA official Chris] Schlesinger explained that a sandwich is of “European roots” and generally recognized as “two pieces of leavened bread,” while a burrito is “specific to Mexico” and typically contains hot ingredients rolled into a flat unleavened tortilla.
[...]
Judith A. Quick, who previously worked as a deputy director of the Standards and Labeling Division at the US Department of Agriculture, said in her affidavit: “The USDA views a sandwich as a separate and distinct food product from a burrito or taco.”

If you decide to push the limits of sandwichery, though, you’ll find me more tolerant than Judge Locke. That may soothe you if you desire to submit to the greasy embrace of the KFC Double Down, a would-be sandwich that replaces the bun with two pieces of fried chicken. I won’t judge you — by most accounts, the Double Down is punishment enough. Judging from the account of the AV Club’s Nathan Rabin, the Double Down is a grievious insult to the body masquerading as a sandwich:

I wanted to quit after a few bites but I soldiered on, ignoring my increasingly intense stomach pain. The Double Down did to my gastrointestinal system what Sherman did to the South, leaving a scorched-earth trail of destruction in its wake. After the initial flavor burst of herbs and spices faded, I was left with a series of stomach-turning pairings, the most horrifying being really bad pepper-jack cheese—school-lunch cheap and school-lunch nasty—and odious bacon.

Whatever sandwich you choose, I hope you’ll join us at Sandwich Party IV!

some sandwich thoughts

A reminder: the next Sandwich Party is on the horizon! If you haven’t marked your calendars and consulted your local breadmaker, pencil it in now — Sandwich Party III lifts off Friday, April 3rd, and keeps going through the weekend!

Bert Vaux’s Dialect Survey asks “What do you call the long sandwich that contains cold cuts, lettuce, and so on?” [Note the polling error: it's "an Italian," not "an Italian sandwich."]

Take a look at Scanwiches, where you can see sandwiches scanned in cross-section. Mmmm, mustard smears. I first saw scanwiches on Metafilter, but it didn’t tickle my blog-bone until Simon emailed the link to Jagosaurus and me, nudging us toward another Sandwich Party.

The hive mind at Ask Metafilter tackles some sandwich questions:

- How To Stuff a Wild Panini!
– What cheese combination makes for the best grilled cheese?

- The challenge: 125 sandwiches suitable for quartering, most of which can be made the day before.
– Ideas for delicious vegetarian sandwiches? I’m going on a picnic with a vegetarian friend, and I want to make some sandwiches that are more exciting than just cheese or PB&J.

- Is Pizza a Sandwich? [NO! Pizza is a bread. If you put some foodstuff between two pieces of pizza, that would be a sandwich. Also: that would be awesome.]

banana and acorns

spaced After epic delays and legal blocks (and more than a few bootlegs from Europe making their way to the States), the much beloved BBC series Spaced has arrived in Region 1!

And for a few of us, it couldn’t be more timely. Thanks to a generous benefactor, I’ve seen most of the episodes, but some suffered from glitches and dropped sound bites, so last night I was struck dumb with surprise and delight to hear [very mild spoiler] Daisy’s assessment of a break-up:

Daisy: In the end, our relationship was just like a sandwich toaster, y’know? You just forget you’ve got one, and it sits there at the top of the cupboard collecting a layer of greasy fudge, and even if you do see it you assume it’s broken, ’cause you think “Oh, if it’s working I’d be using it all the time surely,” but y’know, you don’t. And it just sits there. Then one day, you get an overwhelming desire for toasted sandwiches, y’know? And you get it down and it works, and you can’t believe it, y’know? And then you make every kind of toasted sandwich there is, you have toasted sandwich parties, y’know? You make Marmite and cheese, chocolate and…
Tim: Pilchards.
Daisy: Banana and…
Bilbo: Acorns.
Daisy: Acorns. And then as quickly as the desire comes, it just goes. And then you put the toasted sandwich maker away. And… you know what?
Tim: What?
Daisy: You don’t miss it.
Bilbo: So what you’re saying is “Don’t hide the toasted sandwich maker away, use him regularly and you’ll get the most out of him.”
Tim: No, she’s saying “Chuck your boyfriend, have a sandwich.”

Coincidence? I think not.
Aaaaanyway…. skip to the end: don’t space Sandwich Party 2, starting Friday, July 25th and lasting all weekend.

SCIENCE!

Finally, our long transnational nightmare comes to an end: researchers at Leeds University have perfected the bacon butty.

Scientists have created a mathematical formula of how to make the perfect bacon butty. [...]
Four researchers at the Department of Food Science spent more than 1,000 hours testing 700 variations on the traditional bacon sandwich. [...]
The formula is: N = C + {fb (cm) . fb (tc)} + fb (Ts) + fc . ta, where N=force in Newtons required to break the cooked bacon, fb=function of the bacon type, fc=function of the condiment/filling effect, Ts=serving temperature, tc=cooking time, ta=time or duration of application of condiment/filling, cm=cooking method, C=Newtons required to break uncooked bacon.

Just a little something to get you revved up for this weekend’s Sandwich Party.

how to save dinner

Invite your mother to come for an impromptu dinner. Warn her that you have no idea what you’ll serve, and that you don’t plan to tidy up.

Then tidy up just a smidge, because you don’t want people to see it like this.

Since a) it’s chilly out, b) there’s nothing exciting in the fridge, and c) you feel like being lazy cozy, decide to make snowday food: canned tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches. Because your mom deserves better, decide to glam it up. Here’s how.

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