No, our lunch-related office debates aren’t fancy. “Is it okay to dip pizza in ranch dressing?” nearly tore our team apart. Don’t even get me started on In-N-Out: Burger Of The Week or Weak Burger. Nobody won that one. The truth is, we’re very, very into food. Only days after meeting contributing editor Matt Rodbard did we butt heads over whether Bonchon has the best Korean wings (it does, I’m picking some up for dinner tonight, everyone just shut up and let me eat my spicy chicken). And now we come to another crossroads.
While reading my lunch post on gussying up your leftover Easter ham sandwiches, Matt contested my use of pumpernickel. And I quote:
3. Enlist pumpernickel
Little-known fact: it’s the official sandwich bread of ham. The sweetness of the molasses and brown sugar and earthiness of the dark rye and whole wheat couldn’t pair better with ham.
End quote. Countered Matt, “White bread.” A lukewarm squabble ensued, which I will now bring up again.
I’m not contesting that white bread is indeed a good bread on which to enjoy ham in a sandwichlike manner. I’m also not contesting that bears…well, I don’t think I have to tell you what they do in the woods. I believe that given the flavors and textures of the various sandwich fillings in this world — ham NOT excluded — one’s sandwich bread must step up to the plate, take responsibility for what could very well be $30/pound Ibèrico or prosciutto di Parma if we’re talking ham at all and make the decision not to put a country’s precious treasure on white sandwich bread. Obviously there’s a baguette immunity clause and petition for grilled cheese.
I believe that PB&J is delicious on seeded rye and crusty sourdough alike. Seriously, jelly and sourdough. More like jelly and sour-whoah. I believe that a turkey club has the potential to be even more delicious on multigrain, simply given the chance. There is nothing unsandwichlike about a croissant (not to bring up ham again but hey, ham croissants!) Will you take the easy road, or perhaps the road less-traveled (which frequently proves to be the more delicious of the two roads, as is the case with raisin bread). Bread equality for all, my friends — become the change you want to see! Teach your children, and teach them young! No more sandwiches on white bread unless that’s seriously the only kind of bread you have in the house and yet somehow also inexplicably have good sandwich fixins.
On a college trip to Japan, I fell hard for squishy white bread sandwiches. (Like Jess, my mother was a fan of packing sammys with texture — and whole grains.) But in Japan, the sandwiches that I bought at 7-Eleven daily (almost hourly) were addictive. Along with quality mayonnaise and decent-enough ham, there is nothing quite like inhaling these things. Back in New York I found them at Café Zaiya, which serves them filled with tuna and egg salad, as well as ham and cheese. So, yes, I’m white bread all the way. I do subscribe to pumpernickel. But more for toast. As for toast on sandwiches, well no! But we’ll get into that next week.
More questions that needed to be addressed for lunch on Food Republic: