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Highbrow sandwichdom

Today I stumbled on an NPR story on sandwich-making during my non-sandwich-related professional endeavors. The discovery gave me some hope that my sandwich blog, the existence of which I've a hard time justifying, has some credence in these troubled times.
Beef, onions 'n' peppers stir fryIt seems public radio, one of the final U.S. hold-outs of reasoned discussion, has weighed in on the sandwich. So what does Kevin Weeks of NPR credibility say? According to Weeks, a sandwich is "a filling enclosed in bread or pastry that can be eaten by hand," which excludes open-faced sandwiches and humongous burgers but includes "wraps, tacos, Cornish pasties, empanadas and stuffed pitas." I disagree even though Weeks' definition would be politically expedient to me. Tonight, for dinner I ate some stir-fry in a pita with my hands that Weeks would call a sandwich, but I would not. As much as I'd like to review my own sandwich creation, I cannot, as it's outside of my bounds. My definition is: if you were to say, "I'm about to eat a sandwich," would the given foodstuff be reasonably considered to be the item being consumed? In tonight's case, no, my Asian Gyro wouldn't be guessed to be the foodstuff in question, just like a (sorry, Kevin) taco wouldn't. A gyro's a gyro and a taco's a taco by any other name.

Despite his incorrect sandwich definition, I have the greatest respect for Kevin Weeks, as he clearly represents the sandwich game with pride and honor. Kevin highlights the Muffuletta and the Cubano, both of which I rank in the top three sandwiches available to today's sandy aficionado. He also introduces the Vietnamese Banh Mi, which intrigued me. I rate Vietnamese cuisine among the world's best, thanks to their skilled pork cooking, brilliant rolls, pho and invention of the world's reigning Top Sauce -- sriracha. I've heard of such mysterious Asian sandwiches, but I've yet to know their wonders. The New York Times even referenced Chinese sandies this week in their look at Flushing's hidden mall-food wonders, so the time is fast-approaching.

Good on ya, Kevin, good on ya. You're a mainstream inspiration to those of us in the sandy mucks.


Vanessa said…
The Asian bakery (Chinese, I think) near my apartment has sandwiches - some fit the conventional imagery of a sandwich and others are steamed buns filled with meats, etc. Not sure that would fit in your sandwich category, though. :)

A taco, for God's Sake, is NO sandwich.

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