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Ode to the sandwich

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By Elizabeth Bridge, CBC Digital Archives

Is there anything as appealing as a well-made sandwich? Fred Penner doesn't think so; his song Sandwiches is an ode to the one-handed lunch staple. Sandwich love probably stems from fondly remembered school days when it was something you looked forward to all morning. (Never mind that in reality, most of us were mightily sick of bologna or tuna or peanut butter by mid-October.)

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Our favourite sandwiches: smoked sausage Reuben, anyone?
(AP Photo/Larry Crowe)

A sandwich is a handy thing in a crisis; there's a 1997 radio clip on the CBC Digital Archives in which volunteers make sandwiches for flood relief workers helping to combat the rising Red River in Manitoba.

But what really got me thinking about sandwiches this week was a website I came across called Scanwiches. Predictably, it features a daily picture of a sandwich in cross-section, and it got me wishing there was a Vietnamese bánh mì place closer to CBC. We could also use an outpost of California Sandwiches, purveyors of Toronto's finest Italian sandwiches – but their goods are so messy with sauce I doubt a scan could ever do them justice.

More of my favourite sandwiches: at home, I like to make a grilled cheese (old cheddar only, please) with a smear of mango chutney and a slice of apple or pear. The chutney is inspired by a long-gone Winnipeg restaurant that served what they called the Big Sandwich – as I recall, it had havarti cheese, lettuce and chutney on pumpernickel bread. Another one I think of wistfully was from a deli I worked at in university: tuna, tomato and cream cheese on spongy fergassa (cheese and onion) bread.

What do you like to put between two slices of bread?

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