The latest issue of Lucky Peach includes the following quote from James Beard:
"One of the great American arts, which varies from being a triumph to being a disaster, is the art of sandwichmaking."
It's true -- a perfect sandwich results from almost-unattainable simplicity. Everyone has their favorite, and their own opinion on what makes a sandwich great. And really, summer is sandwich season. So this week, we asked:
What, in your opinion, is the perfect sandwich?
Things got pretty heated, and our staff showed their passion for putting stuff between bread. We start with team BLT:
Michael: I agree with Brette: the BLT, with generous mayo to protect the bread from the tomato. But it's a high-wire act: I feel lucky if I have two great ones in a year. (And if some avocado snuck its way in there too, I would not complain.)
Michael: Shoot. I just remembered the bahn mi, and also the lobster roll, and now I dispair of ever choosing.
[Editor's note: this inspired a full-on brawl in our office re: whether a lobster roll is a real sandwich. Discuss amongst yourselves.]
Will: I have a series of haikus called "The Bacon Series." Here is the sandwich poem:
Bacon, soft white roll,
Lettuce, tomato, mayo.
My perfect sandwich.
Amanda: I've never met a sandwich better than the BLT. It contains all the crucial elements: sweetness, crunch, salinity, pork fattiness, and juicy flashes of summer. We learned a vital BLT tip from 'Wichcraft -- toast one side of the bread and place the toasted sides on the inside of the sandwich. This way you get crispness without cutting the top of your mouth. Although a few BLT cuts are probably more authentic.
Jason: Obviously I love a good BLT, but my all-time favorite sandwich is turkey, tasso ham, prosciutto, creamy gouda, red onion, arugula, salt and pepper, a little mayo, and honey mustard on a super crusty roll. #yumtownusa
Jennifer: Mozzarella, tomato, basil, and prosciutto on ciabatta bread drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.
Ryan: I'm in the same camp as Jennifer. Fresh mozz, basil, any salty cured ham, and olive oil on something crusty. Cold or hot pressed -- I don't discriminate.
Amanda Li: PB&J on whole wheat, because that makes things healthy.
Maddy: Open face tomato and mayo sandwich on an english muffin (the rounds of tomato fit perfectly, see?). With a good dose of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Lindsay: The sister to Marian's sandwich: A toasted Zingerman's enough already bagel. Japanese mayo. Juicy tomato. Avocado. Salt.
Sarah J: Sweet: cinnamon raisin bread with bananas, honey, and peanut butter, pressed and warm. Savory: grilled eggplant, roasted tomato, muenster cheese, and muhammara on herbed focaccia (otherwise known as Z&H's Marty).
Kenzi: Lobster roll. Also: BLT, extra mayo.
Hannah: Maple almond butter (we're not on a first name basis or anything but I like Justin's) + really ripe banana. On any kind of bread that makes the whole house smell like yeast.
Margaret: Turkey, bacon, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, and aioli on a whole wheat wrap, toasted. My kind of heaven. Maybe some spinach if I want to feel healthy, but I don't usually get those kind of compulsions.
Stephanie: I have to play it simple. Tomato, butter, and salt on toasted bread. It's perfect.
Merrill: Truly painful to make this decision. But since no one has mentioned it, I do love a good French ham with soft Brie, on a hard baguette spread with (cold) salted butter. A few cornichons wouldn't be out of place.
Bryce: I might have to go Muffaletta.
Beatrice: Maryland blue crab crab cakes on a bed of frisée topped with a dill caper remoulade sandwiched between a lightly toasted and buttered bun. #BestSummerSandwich
Amanda Li: This TMC reminds me of the 30 Rock episode featuring the Chuckle Sandwich. And this quote:
Liz: I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich.
Jack: How surprising that your world view is food-based.
Tell us: what's your favorite sandwich? And how do you define a sandwich, anyway? Do lobster rolls and hamburgers count? Go ahead -- get worked up about it.