Hunger Games Craving: Cured Meat Sandwich

That Hunger Games thing is happening to me again. There's nothing I can do — the ads are everywhere, it's all over my Google reader and everyone and their moms (literally) are reading it on the subway. I realize it's rare that even Katniss tears raw meat off a carcass with her teeth, but just like finishing the first book made me crave steak tartare in all its exotic forms, I want something for lunch that will put up a little more of a fight than honey-roasted turkey on multigrain. I want my sandwich to struggle a little when I bite down. So I'm going to fill it with chewy, toothsome cured meat.

Prosciutto is a natural first choice here — sliced thick or thin, if you pile it on in layers it's going to resist a little unless you're some kind of hyena mutt with genetically enhanced jaws. That sounds terrifying, actually. Or useful, depending on the sandwich at hand. I bet one of those could take down a Dagwood in like, 8 seconds.

Bresaola is definitely a contender for the prize of "that which will sate my culinary/literary bloodlust mashup," as is boudin. I mean, there are enough references to humans as bloody hunks of raw meat to keep those cravings coming for a good long time.

Then there's capicola, which is the meat from the head and neck cured and stuffed into the guts. Sound like a pod someone accidentally set off? Yup, a delicious pod! Still blissfully oblivious as to why these books make me so hungry.

And finally, in this fantastical sandwich I'm using to write yet another post about The Hunger Games (have you bought the unofficial cookbook yet?), soppressata. This obvious symbol of the Capitol's crushing, ironhanded force comes from the pressing phase that gives the meat its squashed-flat appearance.

In an ideal world, getting this movie out of my system will spark a return to normalcy and come Monday I'll be back to touting the benefits of an Ayurvedic diet devoid of animal fats. But in this actual world...well, ever played tug-of-war with a dog that shook its head back and forth to get you to drop the toy? That's going to be me at the Italian deli with a sandwich in about an hour.