Edith/Maddie here, with our last August Wicked Wednesday.
I was surprised to learn that August is National Sandwich Month! Did you know? Here’s what the National Day Calendar web site has to say about sandwiches:
The basic concept of the sandwich long predates the Earl of Sandwich, the real-life 18th-century aristocrat who reportedly loved them, and gave them their modern name. The ancient Jewish sage Hillel the Elder is said to have wrapped lamb-meat and bitter herbs between two pieces of matzoh (unleavened bread) during Passover. Early versions of the “wrap” have also been found in Asia and Africa. The sandwich grew in popularity among aristocrats in the 18th and 19th centuries. Legend has it they were popularly shared, held with one hand, during late-night gaming and drinking.
Every culture has its version of a sandwich. Think burritos, anything stuffed into pita bread, chapati wrapped around chutney and masala vegetables, puffy dimsum dumplings, Thai fresh rolls, even rice packed into a triangular seaweed packet in Japan. I know in my house, once my tomatoes ripen in August, Hugh makes a BLT every single day.
Wickeds, what’s your favorite sandwich? How about your protagonist’s? Does it change depending on the season? Add a picture if you have one!
Barb: I love sandwiches. Maybe not as much as Joey on Friends, but I have been known, frequently, as my husband goes through a list of exotic food options, to moan, “Can’t we just have a sandwich?” For decades, living in Massachusetts, I would complain, “I haven’t had a good sandwich since I left Philadelphia.” (A town which offers marvelous sandwiches, btw, even though they are eclipsed, reputationally, by hoagies and cheese steaks.) Favorite sandwich? Easy, a grilled corned beef Rachel from Reins Deli in Vernon, CT. Julia’s favorite? Has to be lobster roll from Shannon’s Unshelled in Boothbay Harbor, ME.
Liz: I have to go with Julia, Barb – I love a good lobstah roll! Maddie is a fan of them too, especially since she hadn’t had New England lobster for a decade while she was living on the west coast.
Julie: In August my friend Tom used to take fresh Italian sub rolls, slather then with fresh pesto, vine ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. He’d wrap the whole thing in foil and throw it on the grill before a cookout. He’d cut them into small slices, and that would be an hors d’oeuvre. Tom was an amazing cook, and the rest of the dinner was always wonderful, but those sandwiches are what I remember best about my late and much missed friend. In The Plot Thickets, Ernie is stress baking bread and sandwiches take on a central role. Had I but known I would have set the book in August!
Sherry: Yum, Julie! That sounds delicious. Anyone who has read my garage sale mysteries know that Sarah loves her Fluffernutter sandwiches. I’d never heard of them until we moved to Massachusetts. I love a lobster roll in the summer and a Reuben in the winter! Oh, heck — if it’s good I’d eat either in any season. The lobster roll below certainly isn’t typical of how New England style lobster rolls are served which is usually on a top-split hot dog bun. It’s from Twin Seafoods in West Concord, MA and was so delicious.
Edith/Maddie: I love a good BLT, but I try to restrict my consumption of bacon to once a week during tomato season, even though Hugh eats one every day when the tomatoes are ripe in the garden. I’ll eat cheese and avocado any time, anywhere, and a trusty peanut butter and lettuce is a great impromptu lunch (yes, that’s the only thing I put on my PBs).
Jessie: I am going to have to agree with Sherry about Reubens! If I visit a restaurant for the first time and it has a Reuben, that is what I always order. When at home my favorite sandwich is cheese. I like simple ones but my favorite is sharp cheddar, ripe tomato grainy mustard on pumpernickel bread. Divine!
Readers: Favorite sando? Make us drool!