18 December 2013

The Sandwich - pt. II

Now onto the sandwiches themselves.  As with the salad post, I’m just going to list all of the sandwiches I know of and jot down some of my food thoughtz.  Without further ado, here we go!


I love bacon.  If I could eat bacon for the rest of my life, I would.  But I would only ever eat bacon plain because that is how it was meant to be eaten.  Once I tried bacon in a hamburger and didn’t like it, so I know what I’m talking about.  Bacon is probably the only saving grace of a BLT, because otherwise there’s just a whole lot of wrong going on there.  We all know how I feel about the tomato, so the BLT is  out right off the bat.

I’ve tried lettuce once and didn’t like it.  I didn’t necessarily hate it either, but only because there’s really not much there to feel strongly about one way or the other.  The thing that bothers me most about lettuce is that it reminds me of the word “gnash,” as in “gnashing one’s teeth,” because I always imagine lettuce being gnashed between the two rows of teeth and then a little piece breaking off and forming a film over the top of a molar.  I kind of like the word gnash, but I always associate it with Frankenstein because Mary Shelley apparently loved that word as much as I do.  So not only do I think of a little lettuce-film on a molar, but I imagine that molar belonging to Frankenstein’s monster, and I didn’t particularly like the book. 

It goes without saying that mayonnaise is the most disgusting thing in the entire world.  I probably could have saved us both a lot of trouble and just mentioned mayonnaise at the beginning.

But the problem with a BLT sandwich is so much more than just its ingredients—it’s all of those ingredients together that is the real problem.  First you have either some bread or a bun.  If it ended there, I wouldn’t have a problem (I’m kind of into buns).  But it doesn’t.  Even mayonnaise on a bun, if you’re really into mayonnaise, I could understand.  But it’s when you add the lettuce, tomato, and bacon—kind of the staple ingredients—that things really start to go south.  There will inevitably be little drops of water on the lettuce and the tomato (even if there wasn’t water on the tomato, there’s so much moisture there that it really doesn’t matter), and thinking about these little drops coming into contact with the mayonnaise-coated bun is actually sickening.  At best you could hope that the oil in the mayonnaise would repel the water so that it would sit in little beads on the surface, but the worse case scenario is that the water would permeate the bread, even the tiniest bit.  I cannot abide soggy bread.  Maybe you think this problem would be avoided if the bread was toasted, but you would be wrong.  That would make it even worse!  Because if I have toasted bread, I expect it to be crunchy.  I don’t want to encounter even the smallest dollop of moisture there.  Then add to this the bacon, which is both hot and greasy, and the result  is intolerable.  Hot strips of fatty meat cannot go with moist, cool vegetables.  And then grease + oil + moisture from the vegetables?  No.  Absolutely not.

Peanut Butter & Jelly

Of all the sandwich possibilities, this one offends my sensibilities the least.  I could probably eat this if it became absolutely necessary, although I can’t imagine what situation that would be.  If given the choice, I would probably opt for just a piece of toast with peanut butter, because honestly, I don’t really know what jelly is.  There’s no reason to resort to jelly when there’s always a plentiful supply of jam.  The more I think about it, the less I like the idea of peanut butter and jelly going together.  I don’t think their consistencies are a good match.  I also always associate the peanut butter in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to be like Skippy or Squirrel, and although I was raised on that peanut butter, I can no longer tolerate any peanut butter that isn’t Adam’s peanut butter.

More than any other sandwich, these are the ones that I imagine tightly wrapped in cellophane at the bottom of some kid’s backpack for half a day.  Thinking about it getting crushed by whatever else might be in the backpack plus the jelly probably soaking into the bread make this sandwich impossible.

Egg-Salad Sandwich

All of the no's in the entire world combined
to make the most decisive NO! of all time.
I can’t even deal with this one.  This is all of my most-hated things combined into one ungodly terror: boiled eggs masquerading as salad sandwiched between two pieces of bread.  One time my mum admitted to bringing one of these onto a plane with her, and I nearly threw up just imagining myself in that situation.  Either situation: bringing the sandwich on the plane with the intention of eating it, or being a passenger and having to be in the vicinity of that foul-smelling concoction.  Watching someone eat one of these things is like a scene from a low-budget horror movie but worse because you have to smell it at the same time.  If these sandwiches don’t put you off food and humanity, I don’t know what will.  Egg-Salad Sandwiches came straight from the fiery depths of hell just so Lucifer could finally prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Man is a disgusting, foul creature, totally undeserving of God’s love.  ...  Oh my god.  I just made the terrible mistake of googling this and found out that there’s mayonnaise in it—as if things couldn’t get any worse!  No wonder it’s so creamy and vile.  I hate this so much!

Tuna Sandwich

After egg-salad, this is probably the second most offensive sandwich, mostly for the same reasons: it smells foul, looks foul, and it has tuna in it.  Tuna is a kind of fish, in case you didn’t know.  I don’t know if any of you grew up with the same adorable deck of “Go Fish” cards that I did, but up until just now, I always imagined tuna fish were these really small kind-of-cute-for-a-fish fish that were all named “Mac” and smoked a cigar.  They’re not.  They’re enormous monsters of the deep.  I think people keep talking about these things going extinct, but good lord, it couldn’t happen fast enough! 

I’m under the impression that tuna sandwiches are typically tuna-salad sandwiches and that for whatever reason, “mayonnaise” is the key ingredient that makes it a salad.  I’m guessing the same goes for egg-salad.  The salad portion is disgusting enough on its own, but I know that once you try to contain something so unruly between two slices of bread, it’s going to inevitably smooth out once you bite down, and then whatever ungodly creature is actually eating this mess is going to get little bits of tuna-salad in the corners of their mouth and probably won’t realize it for a while.

Chicken-Salad Sandwich

Enough already!  These are all so disgusting I can’t even deal with it.  The thing that really bothers me about the chicken-salad in particular is that, while I have eaten chicken before, I’ve only ever been able to keep it down as long as it was really, really dry.  Any time I have been presented with a moist chicken I've been on the verge of throwing up.  So to imagine chunks of chicken just marinating in mayonnaise is impossible for me.  I don’t even want to try because I’m afraid that if I do manage to imagine it, I’ll never be able to get it out of my head again and I will keep revisiting it over and over and over because moist chicken—especially when it has been moistened by mayonnaise—is a kind of trauma and that's how we deal with trauma.

Croque-monsieur/Ham & Cheese

I could almost get on board with this sandwich, but I think that at the end of the day, I just want my ham on the side.  Once I was accidentally given a ham and cheese croissant and, thinking it was just a plain croissant, actually bit into it.  It was horrific.  I made my tongue into a point and nudged the food out of my mouth because I wanted it to come into contact with as little surface area as possible.  This is how I know I could never eat a croque-monseiur.  But still, this is a huge improvement on all those salad-varieties just mentioned.


The only thing I like about a panini is that it seems compact and highly portable, and because it’s grilled, probably doesn’t sacrifice the integrity of any of the ingredients.  That said, what are the ingredients?  Does "panini" just refer to a particular grilling method? Whatever they ingredients may be, you can be certain I wouldn’t eat them.

Club Sandwich

To give a sense of scale of
how big my "no" is.
What in the hell?  Are three slices of bread in these things?  Is that their defining feature?  I will be the first to admit that the only possible good thing about a sandwich is the (plain) bread, but this is a bit too much.  If you really need that extra piece of bread, couldn’t you just order a side of garlic toast?  Better yet, why not forgo the sandwich all together and just get one of those frozen loaves of garlic toast instead?

Roast Beef Sandwich

I guess the only defining feature of a roast beef sandwich is that it’s comprised primarily of roast beef, and I think (although I am not sure) that the roast beef is cold.  I want to take this example as an opportunity to talk about all sandwiches made up of folds of cold meat.  And then not talk about them, because why that's disgusting is pretty self-explanatory.  Folds. Of. Meat.


What I learned from “The Importance of Being Earnest” is that it is not at all important to be E(a)rnest if it necessarily involves cucumber sandwiches.  It is my understanding that cucumber sandwiches are made of soft white bread cut into small triangles with no crust, cucumbers, and who knows what else.  Butter?  Maybe butter.  Whatever the other ingredient is, let’s hope it’s not mayonnaise.  The point is, I think they’re too soft and maybe too spongy.  Another problem is that I can’t even imagine anyone thinking that cucumber and bread could possibly go together.  I’ve had a slice of cucumber before, and the only thing that could have made it worse would be to have with with a slice of un-toasted white bread, possibly with mayonnaise.  Texture is really important to me, so it might come as a surprise that I find these sandwiches so troubling.  What could be wrong with softness?  I’m not quite sure.  But I do know that the idea of them is disgusting. 
I also picture people making little muffled sounds of satisfaction while their mouths are full of these things.  Or perhaps trying to speak, but spitting out little food-bits onto whoever might be unfortunate enough to be standing in front of them or having little clusters of moist food lodged in the corners of their mouth.  Whoever eats these sandwiches is also probably so self-involved that they wouldn’t even notice how rude they’re being. 

Sloppy Joes

I have no idea if these are widely considered sandwiches or if they are a food group unto themselves. I am going to include them here because I can't imagine writing a whole separate post for something that is so far off my radar that the only reason I even thought about them in the first place is because for some reason I was thinking of Sixteen and Pregnant.  Although I've never seen the show, I assume it's about white-trash middle-America, which is exactly where I place sloppy joes. I don't mean to comment on your class (I mean that both as in economic status but also social refinement and grace), but I've always thought of Sloppy Joes as the ultimate white-trash food.  That being said, it's hardly the reason why I would never eat one of these. I wouldn't eat this because the only people who would obviously have never heard of a hamburger before.  Look, you can either have a bowl of chili or a hamburger, but you can't have them both in the same dish.

Corned Beef

These smell pretty good, but I know they would be really gross.  A good rule of thumb is that if something is supposed to be eaten with mustard, you can be guaranteed that it’s disgusting.  I have no idea what “corned beef” is, but if you’re using “corn” as a verb, whatever it is you’re corning is not going to turn out well.  
"Corn" as a verb is harmful both to language and to foodstuffs, and the adjective is not much better.*  I had ample opportunity to try these sandwiches when I lived in Montreal, but I always opted for a side of fries instead.

Pulled Pork

Although I would never try one, I believe people when they say these sandwiches are good.  Aside from all of the preliminary problems with any sandwich, what really bothers me about these is that the pork is shredded, and I’ve always had a problem with shredded food (also carrots, beets, whatever) because I always imagine someone’s face being forcibly grated on the grater.  It’s always a man saying “Arrrgh!” but struggling to do so because their face is pressed against a grater.  The image flicks off before the eye meets the metal, thank god.


The only thing that could have been more disturbing than that one time my grandfather suggested I marry my cousin Reuben is if he was referring not to the cousin but to the sandwich.  These sandwiches truly are revolting.  It’s sad, because if it just didn’t have the sauerkraut, it would probably be an improvement on the regular corned beef sandwich. 


Shortly after the Subway opened in Grand Forks, I went there with my mum and my sister. I got a bun with a slice of cheese in it and I was not impressed.


In summation, this post was a failure before it even begun.  There was no conceivable way for me to write a truly all-encompassing post capable of explaining all of the different aspects of sandwiches that I think are wrong.  Sandwiches are constantly in the process of being made: they are always being constructed and reconstructed.  There is no singular “sandwich” to which I could refer (they’re very post-modern), so for that reason, this post has been difficult for me, and not just emotionally (see: salad-sandwiches).  I get the impression that a lot of sandwiches people eat are just some random ingredients thrown together between two pieces of bread.  So before I close off this post, I just want to go over some of the major issues I have with sandwiches.

Obviously sandwiches are a problem for me because I don’t like the majority of the ingredients and I generally don’t like my food mixed/touching.  But more than that, sandwiches openly flout the social conventions of decency.  I admit that sometimes I am too strict about mixing foods, but there’s no way some of these ingredients go together.  It’s not even a question of texture, but, like, their very being.  A sandwich is, by definition, layers of ingredients bookended by a bread product, but these strata so rarely go together, and this is not just me being weird about food.  It seems like a lot of sandwiches have un-melted/un-grilled cheese as an ingredient, but that has no place in a sandwich!  It must be jarring and unpleasant to bite into something like that.  Adding a slab of cold meat to it could only make it worse.  If you have soft bread, un-melted cheese, and then a layer of cold meat, what you’re getting is really soft, almost spongy/springy bread, then met by the slight resistance of the cheese, and then the chewiness of the meat.  It just doesn’t make sense.  It’s not that the ingredients are too different to be held together in one element; it’s that they’re almost too similar.  Maybe it’s like orange and pink together—they’re too similar to actually stand side-by-side.  What makes it even worse is that you’re getting this clash from the top and the bottom.  But toasting the bread wouldn’t even improve anything because it’s like setting yourself up for disappointment.  As soon as your teeth touch the bread, you’re setting yourself up for some potentially interesting contrast, but then you get into the centre and it’s just one big mess.  Obviously the salad-sandwiches are the worst culprits.

Things just get worse if you have the audacity to add tomato, lettuce, or other vegetables to this.  There’s a lot of moisture in there, and while I thought I could never possibly defend salad, at least a salad can account for added moisture.  Sandwiches can’t.  The layers of a sandwich are either too similar to one another or else so moist that any boundaries that might have existed between the ingredients are blurred in a really disturbing way.  Not blurred in a potentially beautiful way, but just like, ugh, why did you have to do that?  You know?  I’m not a fan of typical sandwich ingredients at the best of times, but why did you have to do that?  Some people--and I have to give credit where credit is due--will bring their sandwich ingredients with them to work or school in separate compartments do that it doesn't get too soggy and so that the cheese doesn't have time to sweat.  An admirable solution, but here's an even better one: just don't eat sandwiches.

The sandwich is essentially a food of convenience
And in this central quality lies my crucial grievance:
Layers upon layers, it devolves into one sloppy mess—
What’s the point of many if you can’t parse one from the rest?

*A Hungarian had to explain the difference between a verb and an adjective to me because I do not know English.


  1. I remember sometimes they were 3 colores........some times 2.
    any body knows recipe for sandwitches which we can give kids or adults for lunch?
    thanks in advance.

    1. Thank you for commenting, even if the comment if nonsensical and only proves that you did not actually read this post.

      I do not know what colours you are referring to.

      Of course I don't know a recipe for sandwiches that you could give to kids or adults. The central idea of this post is that sandwiches are disgusting and should not be eaten. I guess you could give them a piece of paper that reads "Sandwiches are a recipe for disaster." Do you think that counts as a recipe? I mean, you could also just give them a literal recipe and tell them that if they want to commit themselves to a life of sandwich-infused debauchery, then go right ahead, but that you're not going to directly involve yourself.

      I'm sorry that I could not be of more use to you. You might try google next time.

  2. But Food Thoughtz, isn't a burger really just a kind of sandwich?

  3. Also, http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/1t3k7k/what_is_the_best_sandwich_and_what_are_the/

    1. I can't really deal with Reddit. I don't understand what it is, but I also find it really difficult to read.

  4. Oh my god Brie. As if you came here and posted a link to reddit.

  5. Sandwich update: did you know that when I was home taking care of mum, her only request was for cucumber sandwiches? And that even though the request was a bit diva-ish (especially because I had just gone grocery shopping) I yielded to her and bought all the supplies but that I put my food down on the white bread? She got 21-grain Alpine, but she also got the cucumber sandwiches. They had sprouts in them.