That’s right, the day after Thanksgiving is the best sandwich day of the year.
We should make it part of the Thanksgiving holiday. It is an opportunity to eat one of my favorites, a turkey club sandwich with real rich mayonnaise (not that other stuff) and fresh tomatoes, leaf lettuce, artisan bread, American cheese and bacon.
My wife is already hiding the mayonnaise and the bacon. Just thinking about it makes me hungry.
Everyone loves sandwiches, and we all probably know the story, in 1762, when John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, made it popular. The Earl was a big-time gambler who would spend hours at the card table. So, when he got hungry, he told his chef to put some meat between two slices of bread and the sandwich was brought to the attention of the world.
But some of our favorite sandwiches did not come along until much later. In 1965, at a Woolworth Lunch counter in Charleston, S.C., they were making a grilled cheese sandwich for a customer and on the grill-shelf was a freshly made tuna salad that accidentally fell on the grilled cheese. The Tuna Melt was born! I’m not sure how true that is, but it is a great sandwich.
The Cuban sandwich, another favorite of mine, made its way to Ybor City when many Cuban cigar workers moved to the area.
The top sandwiches choices in America can change depending on who you ask, but a recent survey by yougov.com states the grilled cheese is number one at 79%, let’s face it, that’s not a big surprise. It's everyone's go-to sandwich and easy to make. Chicken and turkey are at 75%, roast beef at 71%, ham and the BLT at 69%, and peanut butter and jelly at 66%.
My wife won’t be happy with the survey, though. Her favorite is the Reuben, coming in at 48%. Still a great sandwich choice.
With all that talk about sandwiches, I am ready to eat. Let me see what’s in the refrigerator. Oh, by the way, what goes best with a sandwich? Potato chips, of course, and we have Chef George Crum to thank for that from 1853. He had a picky customer who complained the French fries were too thick. So, Chef Crum sliced the potatoes thinner and served the customer, but the customer still complained the potatoes were too thick. So, Chef sliced them so thin they could not be eaten with a fork, thinking this would annoy the customer, but to his surprise he loved them. After the accidental invention, Chef Crum manufactured, packaged and marketed them in New England as Saratoga Chips and Potato Crunches. In the 1920s a fellow came along named Herman Lay and the rest is history.
So, what should we make tonight? Look what I found.
A Monte Cristo Sandwich
2 slices bread
1 teaspoon real mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
2 slices cooked ham
2 slices cooked turkey or chicken meat
1 slice Swiss cheese
1 fresh egg
½ cup milk
Spread bread with mayonnaise and mustard. Alternate ham, Swiss and turkey slices on bread.
Beat egg and milk in a small bowl. Coat the sandwich with the egg and milk mixture. Heat a greased skillet over medium heat, brown the sandwich on both sides. Serve hot.
Option: Lightly dust with powdered sugar!
Costa Magoulas is dean of the Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality and Culinary Management at Daytona State College. Contact him at (386) 506-3578 or firstname.lastname@example.org.