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Sandwich Seekers

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Our sandwich seekers, Zane Caplansky (L) and Daniel Guillemette (R)
A delicacy named after a British aristocrat is now one of the most democratic foods in the world, cutting across class, nation, and religious divides. On the 250th anniversary of the sandwich, CBC producer Daniel Guillemette, and sandwich expert Zane Caplansky of Caplansky's Delicatessan are spending the summer looking at what sandwiches have to say about our city, and if there is one quintessential Toronto sandwich.
Listen audio (runs 3:25)

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An original at Cheesewerks at Bathurst and Wellington. Photo: Daniel Guillemette
In this episode, Zane and Daniel look at the humble grilled cheese as a gooey lens in which to view our city.

They begin at Gale's Snack Bar at Eastern and Carlaw where the grilled cheese sandwich is a mere $1.25. The restaurant screams 'authenticity' in the way people usually think of it: unpretentious to the letter, Gale's looks old fashioned because it is old fashioned.

But fashions are changing. It's now possible to buy a $9.00 grilled cheese at a place like Cheesewerks, which serves up Quebec cheddar on artisanal bread, and isn't shy about saying so. In a city that yearns for sophistication, could the fancy grilled cheese be more quintessentially Torontonian?
Listen audio (runs 3:56)

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A barbeque pork banh mi from Banh Mi Ba Le 2. Photo: Daniel Guillemette
Christiane Bouquet is the co-owner of Banh Mi Ba Le 2, which serves mighty fine Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches. Like the city we live in, the sandwich is a fusion of cultures, with Vietnamese toppings inside a French baguette, a mark of Vietnam's colonial past.

Christiane's name also reflects that past, and her own as the upper class wife of an army officer, who's life was transformed by the war in Vietnam. In this episode, a story of social upheaval, migration, entrepreneurship, and of course, sandwiches.
Listen audio (runs 6:04)

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Doubles from Bacchus Roti Shop in Parkdale. (Photo: Daniel Guillemette)
To mark the occasion of the Caribbean Carnival, Zane and Daniel consider that fine island treat, doubles, an appetizer of spicy chickpeas sandwiched between deep fried dough. They visit Ali's Roti in Parkdale, which claims to be the first to serve doubles in Canada, from way back in 1976. They also pop into Bacchus Roti Shop, just down the street, and find a restaurant aiming to transform itself, and doubles, into something quite different.
Listen audio (runs 5:58)

Leave your comments if you have another suggestion for the quintessentially Toronto sandwich (Pulled pork? Italian veal? Po Boy? Monte Cristo?).