Scanning Sandwiches With The Scanwichman

You may know Jon Chonko as the scanwiches guy. Unless, of course, you don't know what a scanwich is. It's fairly self-explanatory: Open copier/scanner, plant sandwich face-down, and scan. Chonko has scanned 220 sandwiches to-date for his website (there are 225 on the site if you count the Fanwiches his readers have scanned in), so the next logical step is compiling them in one place for all the world to enjoy.

Chonko's new book, aptly named,"Scanwiches," is set to be released by Brooklyn's powerHouse Books this National Sandwich Day — November 3rd, for those of you who don't have it programmed in your phone. Don't worry, we'll remind you. Food Republic caught up with him for an exclusive look at his lovingly detailed sandwich celebration before the book drops and the scanner market spikes.

Are there any sandwiches that don't lend themselves particularly well to scanning?

Yes, absolutely. Hot sandwiches tend to fog up the scanner, wet sandwiches pool their sauces and juices on the glass. I have some tricks I've learned over the years to help manage these problems but it's still tough. Getting a good scan out of something like a chicken parm can take a long time.

We're obsessed with making our own condiments — have you ever experimented?

You know, I haven't really. I've made mayo before, and sauces, but generally I'm an instant gratification kind of guy. If I get the desire for a sandwich, I want to be eating it in a few minutes. Making condiments takes forethought and I usually don't have the patience for it. Although homemade mayo is something amazing that I probably should take the time for.

What's the absolute sexiest sandwich you've encountered thus far?

Oooh, this is a hard question. Sexy sandwiches. Where do I go with this? Well, I love texture, ruffles, sprouts, color and a little bit of spice. Those are the things that really catch my eye in a sandwich. One sandwich that seems to have all that is the Banh Mi. So many sandwiches look great but don't tempt you to bite into them the way a banh mi does. It's one of my favorite sandwiches.

What sandwich might you present to a lady to set the mood for a successful night?

I like to surprise people, wow them with something that they might have underestimated. This may sound appalling, but I would bring out a fried SPAM sandwich. No meat is more ridiculed than SPAM, but magic things happen when you delicately fry it and pair it with the right ingredients. It's a conversation starter, too. It gives me a look into the attitude of the person I'm with. Are they resistant to trying something new, or willing to forget prejudices and open themselves up to a new, potentially tasty experience? A SPAM sandwich will let me know.

What's the worst scanner-related mishap you've experienced?

Fluff, the marshmallow creme. That stuff doesn't come off scanners very easily. That's all I'll say.

What else do you scan?

Documents, photos, the usual stuff.

What's a tweet you might write, ending in #scanwichwin

No money, empty fridge, two slices of bread but I just found a can of tuna in the cabinet! #scanwichwin

Check out, follow Chonko's sandwich journey at @scanwiches and be sure to grab a copy of his new book in November.