sand-wich: two pieces of bread with something (such as meat, peanut butter, etc.) between them.
The humble sandwich has found its way into the hearts and minds of foodies from all walks of life. The word sandwich derives its name and takes homage from the dignified, yet not so regal British statesman, the Earl of Sandwich. The Earl you see, was a practical, just man; immune to the temptations of gluttony and sin, though his Achilles heel could be found at the card table. As a hardened gambler, the Earl would spend hours placing bets and laying odds, often forgoing meals. During one particularly arduous round of play, in the year of 1725, the Earl requested some meat between two pieces of bread. His opponents at the table took note and preceded to order “the same as Sandwich”. And there the glorious yet often under-appreciated sandwich found its name and made its mark as the true meal of convenience and ease.
We all have our favorites. That sandwich that makes your mouth water just thinking about or the one that brings out the sentimental nostalgia of our childhood. And you’ve got to love how most sandwiches are given a name, an identity, a written script so as to not screw up the amazingness that is the sandwich in its rightful form. The thinnest sliced roast beef towered high in-between two slices of swirled rye slathered in reddish orange Russian dressing, topped with swiss and pickled sauerkraut- the Reuben. Or the classic grilled cheese never losing the flavor battle when served in its original form, white bread coated with generous amounts of butter served hot, with two or more slices of oozy gooey American cheese.
I’m a planner, I like to plan. I like to approach any group or collaborative activity with a GP. Friday potluck, the theme had been determined beforehand; Asian-inspired vegetarian cuisine. Lovely, wonderful. The Thursday before at 5pm, do I scrap my evening plans? When am I going to have time to make the intricate hand-rolled 10-ingredient grain-free Vietnamese spring rolls? Stressing big time (yes this is something I stress about, I know, I have an issue.). Becky to the rescue, “Let’s just do a make your own f*cking sandwich day”. And so that’s what we proceeded to do. And we made one damn good sandwich board at that, not skimping on the quality or quantity of ingredients.
First and last stop, Rosemont Market and Bakery, not known for their bargain prices, but acclaimed as the area’s premier source for the freshest local produce and other specialty foods. And we’re lucky to have the Commercial Street location right on down the road from our Page One offices.
On the shopping list:
Bread- Buttttery Focaccia, Ciabatta, and crusty rustic Torpedo made from scratch with King Arthur flour, from Norwich, VT served as the hearty base.
Meat & Cheese- Thinly sliced hormone-free oven roasted turkey, cured maple ham, Cabot’s Mild Cheddar and Pineland’s Pepper-jack cheese all served as a delectable foundation for these soon to be edible masterpieces.
Veggies- A colorful array of local sourced, peppers, tomatoes, onions, butter lettuce and avocados would add a splash of color to these girthy sandwiches.
Spreads- No one likes a dry sandwich. To add to the usual condiment suspects of mayo and mustard we found a palatable selection of homemade spreads: creamy blue cheese, pimento cheese and Mediterranean hummus spread.
Chips, Etc.- Not to be forgotten, we loaded up on an extensive array of Deep River extra crunchy and oh so salty kettle chips in Sweet Maui Onion, Rosemary & Olive Oil, Mesquite Barbeque and Sea Salt & Vinegar flavors.
Back at the office, veggies chopped, cheese and meat expertly displayed for ease of access, the sandwich board was almost ready for Page One employee consumption. What were we forgetting…beverages! Good thing the office vending machine and mini-fridge was newly stocked with a vast selection of non-alcohol and adult bevs. From Baxter Brewing’s so malty and delicious Tarnation and Bissel Bros Substance Ale to the Maine classic, Moxie! we were ready, sandwich making time!
Luckily our last minute planning all came together, the love of the sandwich shone through the eyes and very satisfied stomachs of all those at Page One. The smorgasbord of sorts was described as bread-able, sandwichtastic, and DIY fun. A few eaters remarked they had no idea Rosemont made such delicious bread and that they’d definitely be returning to get some more! And Scott’s homemade Kale Chips were a hit with most, a few imploring him for the secret recipe.
So almost 300 years later, since ol’ Earl of Sandwich sat at his card table demanding a piece of roast beef between two slices of toasted bread, the legacy of the sandwich lives on. Who doesn’t love a fresh sandwich, simple but ohhh so satisfying?
Words Used by Our Team to Describe the Experience:
Address: 5 Commercial Street, Portland, ME 04101
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Sunday – 9:00am-5:00pm
Deni’s (via Scott) Incredible Edible Sesame Kale Chips
1 bunch of kale washed and drained and stalks removed from bottom
1 tbs toasted sesame oil (hot sesame is also good if you want some kick)
1 tsp hulled untoasted sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350.
Toss the kale with the oil and seeds until well coated
(You can bake the kale as whole leaves or you can cut them in to smaller pieces and remove the rib.)
Place on cookie sheet, do not overlap
Bake for 15-20 minutes until crispy on the edges and turned slightly brown. Remove and cool on the sheet. To store, put in a paper bag.
*The same recipe can be used with multiple variations of your oil of choice and seasoning of your choice. Using extra virgin olive oil with sea salt and garlic adds great flavor as well as extra virgin olive oil and cumin. The options are limitless.