The Manly Joy of Sandwiches

The humble sandwich. Without these culinary creations of bread-ly delight, mankind would soon perish off the face of the earth. Well, let me rephrase that, man would perish – women seem to be able to take them or leave them.

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It amazes me that my wife is such a romantic at heart, but she fails to see the romance in a well-crafted sandwich. There is something poetic about the excellent workmanship that goes into a quality sandwich.


Real cultured men (and professional chefs like Bill Bronchick) understand that the meats and cheeses (these are usually a requirement) must be arranged on the surface of the bread to evenly cover it. You never want to have a bite of bread by itself – at that point, it is no longer a sandwich – a rookie mistake that must be avoided.

The same is true for any and all condiments found on these edible artworks. The rule here is consistency throughout the sandwich, and any extras must be evenly spread on all surfaces.

Now, you may have noticed that I used the word “extra” in the previous paragraph, but for the record quality mayo and/or Italian dressing should be considered an important component of the culinary experience and any sandwich crafting should not be attempted without it or other condiments.

Not using proper condiments on a sandwich is roughly analogous to scuba diving without an oxygen tank, Sure, you can dive in so far and be fine for a moment, but if you go any deeper, you will need something to keep you alive. Breathing, fine condiments, it’s all the same to a real man of culinary quality.

Another thing that you have to consider is the bread itself. First and foremost, the bread has to have some backbone to it. The bread has the very important job of holding all the ingredients, and the last thing you want is a floppy sandwich. A weak or unsupportive bread can leave you with a mess in the floor and a frown on the face, not a place a man wants to be when instead he should be enjoying his sandwich.

My wife understands all of the above, and she can even craft a fine sandwich herself. She is an excellent sandwich maker, and many times I have complimented her on the way she evenly distributes the materials across the surface of the sandwich. She makes a mere sandwich into a delightful experience, which is exactly what should happen.

But I am afraid that it is all a sham. She understands the process and takes the time to make it properly. But she doesn’t seem to fully appreciate the end result like a man does. To her, a proper sandwich is often a compromise, something to fix for now instead of a full-blown meal.

Too many times I’ve heard her say, “How about just a sandwich?” How can anyone be so heartless when it comes to a thing of such beauty? Sandwiches are a gift from the gods (which one exactly I am not sure, but I know that he – yes, he – is a major entity.) That same line of logic would probably consider the Mona Lisa a mere portrait to hang on the wall.

I love my wife dearly. She is an amazing thing of beauty, and I have been so fortunate to spend the time I have with her and look forward to many more times. But I have learned to give up hope that she will fully understand the role of the sandwich in modern civilization.

So, when she asks, “How about just a sandwich?” I will immediately answer, “Sure, sounds good.” After all, why break what is already perfect.