On Perfect, Elusive Things - Sandwiches

I wanted to say something about a couple of songs by Teitur and how I love the pretentious cool of various hipster nooks (This I realized in retrospection). And how wanting anything and anyone that catches my fancy “Oooh, Shiny! I want. Now!” gives me such a thrill till I have it. Once it’s mine, it’s all bokeh in the background and TV dinners and gawd, can we go off to sleep already.

Then out of nowhere I rediscovered the joys of a mint chutney sandwich. 

Two slices of lightly toasted white bread, place slices(Yes, I said slices) of Amul Butter on both slices, slather on some mint chutney, cut thin slices of boiled potato and cucumber, cut out the crusts and what you get is a perfect mint chutney sandwich. 

Which brings me to the Perfect Sandwich. A sandwich which is not a soggy lunch of ham and day old bread fixed with some stinging mustard, clumpy cheese and ketchup that is more sugar and less tomatoes. 


To me, a perfect sandwich is a play of contrasting textures and tastes. And a clever way to  turn the food pyramid of Grade 4 textbooks into a perfect pie (Try not to think of Excel Sheets here) that must not be resisted.

The Bread: Not soft and milky like the sliced white bread of the Mint Chutney sandwich but crusty and chewy and hitting a perfectly soft spot in the middle. Like a baguette. “Like lingerie - there, but not, providing delicious support without obscuring the main flavor." Perfect when it’s in a race against your cream silk shirt to soak up the profligate juices. 

The Meat: Juicy and loaded with character. Roasted Beef, Pulled Pork, Steak, Corned Beef, Smoked Salmon, Fatty Pastrami maybe even Fried Chicken. Barbecued, Grilled, Marinated, Slow-cooked, Roasted, Cured meats will make my world go round but none of those wimpy slices of ham and pepperoni and god knows what other excuses for meat. 

The Salad: Sundried Tomatoes, Pickles, Cucumber, Watercress, Arugula, Lettuce, Peppers, Caramelized Onions, Coriander, Jalapenos, Avocado, Heart of Artichoke, Shredded Carrots, Crumbled Bacon. Hell, even Coleslaw and Sliced Boiled Eggs. Enough to keep me chewing and con me into thinking I’m eating the recommended portion of veggies for the day. 

I was eating a sandwich, oh so creatively named Cafe Noir at Cafe Noir, UB City and with every bite of Roasted Beef + Baguette + Cucumber + Olive Oil seasoned with herbs I called out to the Heart of Artichoke. I’ve never liked an incomplete sandwich. 

The Spread: First some butter so that the bread doesn’t soak up the moisture. Then a dash of orange juice, chopped herbs, honey, garlicky mayo, salsa, basil, BBQ sauce, smoked cheese, freshly crushed pepper, provolone, some sharp smelling bleu cheese, hummus, mustard that stings like wasabi or mayo that smells of Grandma’s kitchen. The choices unending but let’s just make sure they meld the flavors of the meat with the salad but not overpoweringly so. So long as it’s NOT a Mayo Sandwich with a side of roast beef.

So it is on days like these I just want to wake up to doggie kisses, eat sandwiches and smell the sea in my hair. The truth’s harsh: everything’s elusive and I’m evasive but I’ll forget that recklessness for a bit. 

Let’s just watch the tides grow. I also might feel like waking up in your house some day or eating off your hand like a bird astray. 

You see, right now I’m just thinking of the time when I was in love and out of all else.