Document Sample
0810_compleat_sandwich Powered By Docstoc
					82 | Spirit

   If you are what you eat, then
 America gets tastier all the time.
  Here’s everything you want to
know about the bread, the fixings,
and all the good stuff in between.
   But be sure to leave room for
a love story—a really cheesy one.

          BY M I K E DA R L I N G


     S T Y L I N G BY R O B I N F I N L AY

                                             Spirit | 83
   BRE AD WINNERS A truly great sandwich starts
   with the crusty stuff. Peter Reinhart, author of Artisan Breads Every
   Day, picks a few loaves and grains that are on the rise.
   “Meats and cheeses         San Francisco sour-       finish—you’ll be enjoy-     see if they’re making     in the grain. La Brea
   get a lot of attention     dough goes especially     ing the toasted, nut-       any rustic breads from    produces excellent
   in sandwiches, but         well with meats and       like flavor 30 minutes      wet, sticky doughs.       hearth-style crusty
   the bread is one of        cheeses. Gourmet mar-     after you eat it. Pain      Ciabatta, pugliese,       parbaked loaves, fin-
   the most important         kets like Whole Foods,    au levain is the most       stirrata, and focaccia    ished on-site at each
   choices you’ll make,”      Harmons, Wegmans,         famous French-bread         are variations. They      market. Pepperidge
   says Reinhart. “A good     Central Market, and       version of sourdough.       contain a wonderful,      Farm and Arnold are
   type to experiment         quality supermarkets      It usually contains a       spongy crumb that         also making very good
   with is San Francisco      often bake their own      small amount of whole       soaks up and delivers     soft, whole-grain sand-
   sourdough. The real        following the methods     grain to supplement         lots of flavor from the   wich loaves. Ezekiel
   stuff—a crusty loaf        of the artisan bakers.    the white flour, and        fillings. Multi-grain     and Alvarado Street
   with a tart flavor and a   Many-seed breads are      it’s unsurpassed for a      and whole-grain           make excellent sprout-
   soft, creamy interior—     also popular and          complex, yet not too        breads will keep get-     ed wheat-loaf breads
   is hard to beat. Look      versatile. They’re like   sour flavor. Find a local   ting better as bakers     made from 100 percent
   for it under brands like   ‘everything bagels.’      artisan bakery if you       learn to bring out the    whole and organically
   Parisian and Colombo.      They have a long, loyal   want to try some, and       latent flavors trapped    grown grain.

              San Francisco


                                                                                        pain au levain

84 | Spirit

                                                                           WHAT YOUR ’WICH SAYS
                                                                        For a 2009 study by Hellman’s and Best Foods, nearly
                                                                     3,000 Americans named their sandwich of choice, then took
                                                                             a psychological exam. ’Wich person are you?
                                                                     If you like…                              If you like…
                                                                     T H E C L U B…you’re the perfect          E G G S A L A D…you’re a natural in
                                                                     addition to any office—agreeable,         the spotlight; someone people gravi-
                                                                     unselfish, and devoted to work and        tate toward. Charming and energetic,
                                                                     relationships. Committed and loyal,       you might be described by your
                                                                     you’re most compatible with fellow        friends as the “universal romantic,”
                                                                     Club-lovers, as well as those who         meaning there doesn’t seem to be
                                                                     prefer BLT and turkey sandwiches.         anyone who can’t eventually learn to
                                                                                                               love your attention-seeking ways.
                                                                     If you like…
                                                                     T U R K E Y…take your next sand-          If you like…
                                                                     wich to a public park or anywhere         H A M & C H E E S E …you’re natu-
                                                                     you can let your spirit wander. Better    rally curious. If you want to thrive
                                                                     yet, order a foot-long and split it in    at work, look for plenty of creative
                                                                     half—you’re intensely compatible          freedom, one where you won’t be
                                                                     with other turkey sandwich obses-         micromanaged. Friends describes
                                                                     sives. While that may limit your          you as thoughtful and inquisitive.
                                                                     options, the upside is that they’ll       But when it comes to settling down,
                                                                     understand your need for space.           you’re wary of commitment.

                                                                     If you like…                              If you like…
                                                                     C H I C K E N S A L A D…you’re the        B LTS…trust us, we understand
                                                                     kind of easy-going friend everyone        your drive for perfection (see our BLT
                                                                     wishes they could have: well adjusted     on page 92). But it’s not just your
                                                                     and empathic. When you’re not             sandwich that needs to be perfect—
                                whole-grain                          busy lending an ear to somebody in        it’s also your office, apartment,
                                                                     need, you should use those superior       relationships, and the side of the bed
                                                                     listening skills to figure out who just   you wake up on. Thankfully, your
                                                                     ordered the egg-salad sandwich.           admirable honesty and unflappable
                                                                                                               integrity provides a counterbalance.
                                                                     If you like…
                                                                     T U N A S A L A D…prepare to              If you like…
                                                                     tussle over the last sandwich on the      S E A F O O D S A L A D…you’ll get
                                                                     tray. Aggressive and achievement-         along famously with the Club buffs,
                                                                     oriented, you’re a natural leader with    who, like you, are good-natured and
                                                                     a drive to succeed, whether it’s at the   selfless. Just don’t date the ham-
                                                                     office or with the opposite sex. You      and-cheesers. You seek comfort
                                                                     don’t need help finding love connec-      in close, secure relationships where
                                                                     tions, but keep an eye out for anyone     commitment and loyalty reign
                                                                     devouring an egg-salad sandwich.          supreme.

              I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y T I M T O M K I N S O N
                                                                                                                                         Spirit | 85
                                                                                    Fra’ Mani

   Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre
 Foods, loves crispy critters more than just about anybody.
     But he’s game for a great regional sandwich, too.
MINNEAPOLIS                              are roasted in a smoker over natural
The Prosciutto with Mozzarella           wood, and you can get it sliced and
and Basil at Buon Giorno Italia          piled high on white bread. That sand-
“A fantastic lunch-bucket sandwich       wich is about the greatest that any
tradition in Minneapolis owes itself     city offers.” arthurbryantsbbq.com
to a surprisingly huge Italian immi-
grant population,” says Zimmern.         N E W YO R K
“You can find lots of extraordinary      The Brisket Half Pastrami
Italian delis, and the best is Buon      at the Carnegie Deli
Giorno Italia. They bake their own       “In New York, there’s the Carnegie
bread, import their cold cuts, and       Deli and then there’s everybody
roast their own peppers. The Italian     else. I like to get the brisket and hot,
prosciutto with mozzarella and basil     fatty pastrami on rye, with Russian
is better than you’ll find anywhere      dressing on the side. They haven’t
else in town.” bgimarket.com             yet started to call it an Andrew Zim-
                                         mern, but they do have my picture
NEW ORLEANS                              up behind the cash register. I’m sort
The Shrimp and Oyster Po’Boy             of obsessed with the place. The Car-
at Mother’s                              negie is the quintessential New York
“Whenever I visit New Orleans, I         City deli experience. It’s brassy and
always make sure I have a po’boy at      noisy and the people working there
Mother’s. They make everything in        have all been there for what seems
the traditional New Orleans Cajun        like 40 years.” carnegiedeli.com
style. Their po’boys come with shred-
ded cabbage, pickles, mayonnaise,        C H I C AG O
and creole mustard, but not toma-        The Burger at Paradise Pup
toes. It’s a massive French-bread        “Everybody raves about Chicago’s
sandwich. I like to get the seafood—     Italian beef sandwiches, but I’d
usually a shrimp and oyster combo.”      rather eat a hamburger in Chicago—
mothersrestaurant.net                    and yes, if you’re wondering, a
                                         hamburger counts as a sandwich in
K A N S A S C I T Y, M I S S O U R I     my book. My favorite burger and hot
The Pit Ham at Arthur Bryant’s           dog shack is a teeny place, owned by
“When it comes to sandwiches,            two brothers, called Paradise Pup.
Arthur Bryant’s has the best ingre-      People will line up in 10 inches of
dients in Kansas City. A lot of people   snow just to get one of these burg-
go to KC for the barbecue pork rib or    ers. They’re formed by hand and
burnt-end plates, but if I’m eating a    grilled to order. The secret is their
sandwich, I’m getting the pit ham at     meat—Angus chuck. Everything just
Bryant’s. That pit has been roasting     melts in your mouth. It’s fantastic.”
meat since 1930. The whole hams          847-699-8590

86 | Spirit
ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT Bruce Aidells, author
of The Complete Meat Cookbook, says it’s what’s inside that counts.
Look for these specialty cold-cut brands at the deli counter.
“There aren’t many          years. Fra’ Mani uses       up the texture and         flavor comes through       kind that Applegate
brands of cold cuts         natural pork casings,       won’t taste nearly as      better, too. The Duroc     Farms (applegate-
that are worth your         and nothing is pasteur-     good. As for ham, think    breed of hogs that         farms.com) offers.
time, but a few manu-       ized. It isn’t so much      Vande Rose Farms           Vande Rose uses has        Some manufacturers
facturers stand out,”       about the ingredients,      (vanderosefarms.com).      a fine marbling that       put the meat into a
says Aidells. “Chef Paul    it’s about time—the         So much of what you’ll     permeates through          tumbler that helps
Bertolli at Fra’ Mani       mortadella is slow-         see in the supermarket     the muscle so the meat     release its muscle pro-
(framani.com) makes         roasted for 10 hours.       is pumped full of water,   won’t dry out as easily.   tein, and then reform
excellent mortadella,       Their salami is hand-       giving the meat a soft,    Their roast beef is also   the meat in a mold.
which can be terrible       tied. To get the right      spongy texture. Unlike     special. And so is the     Applegate’s is mini-
stuff, but in the best      flavor and curing, Ber-     most manufacturers,        smoked bacon, which        mally processed. Their
cases is one of the         tolli covers the surface    Vande Rose doesn’t         is fantastic in a BLT.     turkeys aren’t injected
great cold cuts of Italy.   of the casing in a white    add water to its artisan   When you buy turkey,       with antibiotics, and
He sticks with Italian      mold that thrives in the    ham, so you can slice      you want to make sure      they’re raised naturally
artisan practices that      Bay Area. If you rush       it very thin without       you’re getting a whole     on a diet of corn, soy,
date back nearly 1,000      that process, it screws     it falling apart. The      muscle breast like the     barley, and flax.”

                                   Applegate Farms
                                    smoked turkey

                                                           Fra’ Mani
                                                       salami soprasada                  Vande Rose Farms
                                                                                           artisan ham

              Vande Rose Farms

                                                                                                                              Spirit | 87





   YES , CHEESE Liz Thorpe, author of The Cheese
   Chronicles, whips up a few alternatives to the standard dairy fare.
   “When old standbys           and adults. When most         flavor is stronger, too,    things people don’t           better for a cold sand-
   like Swiss and provolo-      people think of mozza-        so lots of times the        like. Try smearing it         wich, especially one
   ne begin to feel repeti-     rella, they think of that     cheese is the foil for      on a baguette with            with pickles. And if you
   tive, you might want         big block you find in         whatever else is in the     cornichons and a mild,        love Swiss, try Emmen-
   to experiment with           the dairy department,         sandwich. Fromager          boiled ham. If you like       thaler. This is the more
   lesser-known chees-          which is low-moisture         d’affinois looks like       cheddar, try an English       authentic version of
   es,” says Thorpe, vice       mozzarella. Think             Brie, but it’s higher       style, like Quicke’s or       what you get at the
   president of the Man-        Polly-O. Burrata, on          in butterfat and has a      the American Cabot            deli counter. It’s made
   hattan foodie mecca          the other hand, is like a     thinner rind. A lot of      Clothbound. They              in Switzerland, and
   Murray’s Cheese Shop.        ball of fresh mozzarella      people don’t like the       have a drier, more            its cousin is Gruyère.
   “Fontina, for example,       that’s full of creamy         rind on Brie. I love the    crumbly texture. The          They’re both sweet
   tastes a little like Jack,   cottage cheese. It’s the      Fromager because            flavors tend to be            and nutty in flavor, but
   but its texture is ropy.     greatest mozzarella           it’s one small step         earthy, a little bit nutty,   what they’re known
   The cheese stretches         variant in the world.         away from butter. It’s      with caramel under-           for is meltability. On
   when you bite into it        Buffalo mozzarella is         incredibly rich and         tones. It’s worth noting      a grilled cheese or an
   and has a very light         made from a different         creamy and has all          that cheddar does not         open-face tuna melt,
   and subtle milky taste       milk type. It has more        of the things people        melt well. It separates       Emmenthaler will melt
   that’s great for kids        fat, and it’s richer. The     like, and none of the       and gets greasy, so it’s      better than anything.”

88 | Spirit
                           THE NEW CLASSICS
                      Charles Kelsey, owner of Cutty’s sandwich shop
                  in Boston, picks five internationally flavored faves that
                            will have you reconsidering the PBJ.
              T H E P O RC H E T TA                      cheese, pickles, and mustard, all piled
              Originated in Italy                        onto Cuban bread. The sandwich
              “Few carnivores can resist the awe-        is then slathered with butter and
              some simplicity and tastiness of           griddled to crispy perfection. Cam-
              porchetta,” says Kelsey. “In essence,      bridge, Massachusetts, where I live,
              porchetta is nothing more than slow-       is a long way from Miami, but Chez
              roasted, farm-fresh pork that’s been       Henri, in my neighborhood, does one
Emmenthaler   minimally seasoned with salt, garlic,      of the best Cubanos outside of the
              fennel, herbs, maybe lemon zest. But       Sunshine State.”
              it’s much more than that, especially
              when juicy slices of it are served         THE BÁNH MÌ
              on artisanal ciabatta. Some, like          Originated in Vietnam
              RoliRoti, a rotisserie food truck in San   “There are many iterations of the
              Francisco, embellish their porchetta       ‘saigon sub,’ but what you need to
              with caramelized onions and arugula.       know is this: Bánh Mì is made on a
              I’ll take it any way I can get it.”        crunchy French baguette, and usually
                                                         garnished with cilantro, thinly sliced
              T H E TO R TA                              cucumber, pickled carrots, daikon—
              Originated in Mexico                       an over-sized Asian radish—and, if
              “This creation is unjustly eclipsed by     you’re lucky, a garlicky mayonnaise.
              its taco/burrito brethren. Torta bread     One of the most common fillings
              can vary in form, from the crusty,         includes a spread of pork pâté, roast
              oblong bolillo—similar to a French         pork, and two kinds of Vietnamese
              bread—to telera, a softer round roll.      pork lunchmeats. When done cor-
              Pretty much any filling you stuff into     rectly, Bánh Mì produces one of the
              a burrito/taco—carne asada, chicken,       most phenomenal bites of a lifetime.
              carnitas, Mexican chorizo—appears          Try one at Baoguette, in Manhattan.”
              on a torta, too. Add a judicious
              amount of avocado, sour cream,             T H E M U F F U L E T TA
              cheese, lettuce, refried beans, maybe      Originated in New Orleans
              tomato, and you have a true thing of       “Large, round loaves of sesame seed-
              beauty. But don’t take my word for it:     clad muffuletta bread—similar to
              Check out XOCO, in Chicago. It’s an        focaccia—get stuffed with provolone
              homage to Mexican street food, and         and Italian meats like salami, ham,
              there you’ll find tortas that shine.”      and mortadella. Then the sandwich
                                                         is anointed with a tangy, garlicky
              THE CUBANO                                 olive salad and cut into wedges. The
              Originated in South Florida                longer it sits, the better it gets. The
              “I’ve seen the Cubano done in myriad       original muffuletta, invented at the
              ways, but my heart belongs to the          Sicilian-owned Central Grocery in
              authentic version, which consists of       New Orleans’ French Quarter, is still
              thinly sliced roast pork, ham, Swiss       made the way it was 100 years ago. ”

                                                                                    Spirit | 89
SME AR C AMPAIGN                     Mark Bires,
co-owner of Jerry’s Sandwiches in Chicago, beats
the spread with these uncommon condiments.
“We like to offer         between your fingers,    but produces spec-        vegetables. Instead
alternatives to tradi-    then mix with the        tacular results. Start    of bottled ketchup,
tional condiments,”       mayo to produce a        with a basic Indian       we make homemade
says Bires. “Our          sweet, smoky garlic      mango chutney. Add        ketchup. It has more
roast tomato salsa        flavor. Wasabi mayo      chipotle peppers, red     of a pure tomato fla-
is a good example. It     is another easy condi-   vinegar, and adobo        vor, like a tomato jam.
involves the typical      ment. Just cut green     sauce. Puree that and     Just take tomatoes,
ingredients—tomato,       wasabi powder with       mix it with the chut-     brown sugar, cider
garlic, and onions—       water to make a paste.   ney so you wind up        vinegar, and combine
but we char them in       Mix it with mayo so      with a smoky, moder-      it with seasonings like
the oven to make it       you’ll wind up with      ately hot spread. It’s    ginger, cumin, cinna-
toasty. Roast garlic      a pale green mayon-      a full-flavored condi-    mon, cloves, salt, and
aioli mayonnaise is       naise with a horse-      ment best paired          Worcestershire. What
another great option.     radish-like kick.” The   with steak, roast beef,   you get is a close
You roast those gar-      chipotle chutney is a    or lamb, and works        cousin to tomato bar-
lics until they squeeze   very simple concept,     great with grilled        becue sauce.”

                      roast tomato

                                             roast garlic aioli




90 | Spirit






 Bibb                                                                                        Haas
lettuce                                                                                     avocado

   ULTR A FIXIN ’ S Jon Ashton, executive chef
   of Relish magazine, helps you develop a feel for better produce.
   “Your choice of let-        ful option but packs a     most cheeses, too,           than butter and may-       if you add some grated
   tuce depends on what        ton of nutrition. Before   especially goat cheese.      onnaise. I recommend       cheese, you’ll make
   you’re trying to bring      you buy any type of        Though you tend not          using a Haas avocado.      a wonderful grilled
   out,” says Ashton. “If      lettuce, examine it        to see them much             They have more taste,      cheese sandwich. If I’m
   you want something          closely to make sure       outside of Thanksgiv-        and they’re smaller.       not cooking onions, I
   with lots of crunch, opt    there’s no brownness,      ing, dried fruits like       Give them a little pinch   prefer to use a sweeter
   for either romaine or       a sure sign it’s been      cranberries, apricots,       —they should be soft       version like Walla
   iceberg. Bibb lettuce       bashed or improperly       prunes, and figs work        as a baby’s belly. When    Walla onions from
   works when you need         stored. When it comes      with ham and pork.           buying tomatoes, I’m       Washington or the
   more softness, like         to fruits, sliced apples   You could also try a         always looking first for   Vidalia onions from
   for a lobster roll. For     work very well with        variety of jams, like        a nice, organic option.    Georgia. Maui Maui, in
   more flavorful options,     cheese. You could also     blueberry on a turkey        You’ll immediately         their rawest form, are
   try Radicchio, which        try a little melon or      sandwich. Avocados           notice the taste differ-   excellent, and not quite
   will add bitterness, or     carmelized apples on       are an excellent way         ence if you can find one   as harsh as a Spanish
   arugula, which is going     prosciutto to add a hint   to add creaminess to         that’s ripe and juicy.     onion. Before you buy,
   to be more peppery.         of sweetness. Straw-       a sandwich, and they         Cherry tomatoes are        just mark sure to check
   Spinach is a less flavor-   berries work well with     offer a healthier option     great for chopping, and    for bruising.”

                                                                                                                                  Spirit | 91
  ’wichcraft co-founder Sisha
  Ortuzar perfects the art
   of a well-balanced BLT.
   The Exterior Wall “When you toast the bread,
   do it on the inside only,” says Ortuzar, who, with
   chef Tom Colicchio and Jeffrey Zurofsky, opened
   ’wichcraft sandwich shop in 2003. “That way you’ll
   dry out the half that insulates the bread from moist
   ingredients. If left untoasted, the bread will absorb
   the juice from the tomato and get soggy. A toasted
   slice of bread will maintain its structure for a much
   longer time.”

   The Buttress “The lettuce helps you add volume.
   Because of the shape, with its ridges and ribs, it
   adds height to the sandwich while keeping it light.
   Lettuce is, after all, mostly air. I like lettuce with a
   little texture, but for a BLT Romaine and Iceberg are
   too strong; they’re all crunch. Try Bibb lettuce
   instead. It has a soft, velvety texture, but the
   ribs still have some crunch to them.”

   The Feng Shui “The bacon is the bait. It’s
   what draws you in. We associate bacon
   with words like ‘crispy’ and ‘salty’ and
   ‘rich.’ You can smell it before you even
   take the first bite. I like a strip that’s about
   one-eighth inch thick so it gives the sandwich
   a little more bulk. You want to taste the fat, so
   don’t overcook it or buy something too smoky.”

   The Load-Bearing Stud “We only make our BLT
   available when tomatoes are in season. The differ-
   ence in taste between an imported tomato and a
   locally grown, organic tomato is so important. A
   locally grown tomato is far more ripe and juicy. Aim
   for a tomato slice that’s a little thicker than half an
   inch. Put the tomato on its side and slice horizon-
   tally with a bread knife starting from the top so you
   retain as much of the juice as possible. A nice, thick
   tomato slice will add a softer texture—a nice coun-
   terpoint to the hard bread and crispy lettuce. It also
   adds moisture and juiciness. The tomato is really
   the star of the sandwich.”

   The Insulation “Mayonnaise should be the first
   layer on a BLT. Use a light, even smear so it won’t
   come out the sides when you press the two slices
   of bread together. If you really like mayo, spread it
   evenly on both sides. The trick is to keep the mayo
   far away from the lettuce, but close to the tomato so
   it acts as a buffer and keeps the bread from soaking
   up too much of the tomato juice. I suggest using an
   aioli mayo made from scratch—it just tastes better.”

   The Foundation “Keeping only one side toasted
   will also allow the outermost part of the bread to
   remain soft. Tough bread scratches the roof of your
   mouth. For the BLT, I recommend a nice country-
   style loaf like a sourdough or white dough bread—
   not to be confused with preservative-laden white
   bread—from a good baker.”  r.”

92 | Spirit
“The thing to keep in mind with a
 sandwich is that with every bite you
want a little of everything going on.
You need perfect balance. Everything
 hitting the palate at once.”
                  —Sisha Ortuzar, chef/co-founder, ’wichcraft;
                                    chef, Riverpark restaurant

                  BUILD IT BETTER
           Now it’s your turn to invent a sandwich.
    The best entry will win a trip to New York City to meet
                sandwich guru Sisha Ortuzar.
Whether you prefer the mouthwatering simplicity of your mother’s
   grilled cheese or the staggering genius of your mile-high Dagwood,
               ’wichcraft want to hear about the kitchen creation that
    Spirit and ’w
    makes you most grateful to the Earl of Sandwich. We’re not looking
  for any old ham ’n’ cheese—nor do we desire the most absurd mash-
    up of flavor since the Fool’s Gold Loaf (Elvis Presley’s gut-busting
      monolith of peanut butter, jelly, and bacon). When thinking about
      your sandwich entry, do what ’wichcraft does and focus on the
ingredients. Aim for fresh, in-season, local goods. Don’t be afraid to
experiment. When putting it all together, quantity doesn’t always equal
quality. The winning entry will have a balance of flavors and textures
and will use smart sandwich architecture (see left). Send the recipe for
your new creation to us at spiritmag.com/sandwich.
The G R A N D PR I Z E W I N N E R will win a trip for two to New York
City; a three-night stay at the Residence Inn Times Square; dinner for
two at Riverpark; and a tour of New York City’s food markets with
Sisha Ortuzar. Ten RU N N E R S - U P will win a copy of ’wichcraft by
Tom Colicchio and Sisha Ortuzar, and two ’wichcraft Panini spreads.

P R I Z E S & E L I G I B I L I T Y The grand prize winner will receive air transporta-
tion courtesy of Southwest Airlines for him or herself and one guest on regularly
scheduled published flights to New York’s LaGuardia Airport from the nearest
airport to winner household serviced by Southwest Airlines. Employees, officers,
               (including immediate family members—spouse, parent, child, sibling
and directors (inc
and their respecti spouses, regardless of where they reside—and members of the
same household, whether or not related) of Southwest Airlines, Pace Communica-
tions, and ’wichcr are not eligible to participate. Hotel stay courtesy of Resi-
dence Inn Times Square. Dinner, market tour, books, and spreads courtesy of ’wich-
craft. Entrants must be at least 21 years of age to be eligible to win. Winner will be
required to provid proof of age. Void where prohibited by law. The approximate
value of the grand prize is $2,150. Winner will receive a 1099 tax form for the value
of the prize. Prizes are not transferrable or redeemable for cash. All prizes are sub-
ject to availability and blackout dates. All airport transfers, personal and incidental
               specifically mentioned in the contest are the responsibility of the
expenses not spe
winner. Travel must be completed by Dec. 31, 2010. Entries will be accepted at spir-
itmag.com/sandwiches from Aug. 1-Sept. 15, 2010, or at Spirit Magazine Sandwich
Contest, 2811 McMcKinney Avenue, Suite 360, Dallas, TX 75204, with a postmark of
Sept. 15 or earlier. Winners will be notified by Oct. 1, 2010.

                                                                           Spirit | 93
      A Love Story

A life can by measured by many things—even two slices of bread
and a hunk of quality cheddar. By Novella Carpenter
I. New Jersey, 1982 Before I ever          girl), served it with a dill pickle, then   memory from these toddler years
cared about artisanal breads and           snarfed it while watching The Dukes         on an overgrown ranch in Idaho.
locally grown ingredients, before          of Hazzard. My single mom had               Surely grilled cheese happened. I
I became an unrepentant cheese             passed on this fast and easy culinary       like to think it was earth-shatteringly
snob, I learned how to cook the            move, ensuring the survival of her          good, made with dense, homemade,
one food item that would sustain           offspring. I much preferred the oozy        whole-wheat hippie bread, the pale
me for the rest of my days: a grilled      grilled cheese over her other favorite      yellow cheddar from Bessie melting
cheese sandwich. The recipe was            survival food: a spoonful of peanut         this way and that onto my chubby
simple: store-bought wheat bread           butter drizzled with honey, eaten           fingers, but those days are gone.
rolled around in a cast iron pan           while standing in the kitchen.                 Neither my sister nor I remember
with butter until it smoked, three            Rewind a few years before this           much else about the ’70s—we were
chunks of crudely cut cheddar, and         early-’80s moment, before I became          prepubescent throughout—and by
more butter until the bread was            a latchkey kid, before my parents           1982 our bread came in a sleeve of
truly black. I was 10. I cut the grilled   divorced and we moved off the               orange plastic because Mom didn’t
cheese in half, straight down the          hippie farm. I’ve wracked my brain          have time to bake her own anymore.
middle (I wasn’t a diagonal kind of        trying to extract a grilled cheese          To her credit, she insisted that we

94 | Spirit
The Art of Unforgettable Smiles
By Dr. Joseph Stan DDS

                              Dr. Joseph Stan’s extensive 15
                              years of experience in Cosmetic
                              and Implant Dentistry coupled
                              with flawless artistic expertise
                              ensures he delivers the level
                              of result where art and science
                              truly unite. Having performed
                              thousands of Dental Procedures
                              and personally placed over
                              6000 implants, Dr. Stan is
                              one of the most renowned
  Dr. Joseph Stan DDS         and experienced Cosmetic                Ashley’s Smile by
                              & Dental Implant Specialists
both in Los Angeles and Internationally. Through our multi-
specialty dental center, we offer patients same-day cosmetic
and restorative procedures to ensure exceptional results.
At our office, through specialized Sleep/Sedation dentistry
procedures, patients gently nod off for a few hours, waking up         • Sleep /Sedation Dentistry — For Painless Dentistry
with a truly magnificent new Unforgettable smile.                         & The Most Comfortable And Pleasant Experience Possible

Because no smiles are alike Dr. Stan designs his client’s              • 24–48 Hour Beverly Hills Smile Makeover Turnarounds
smiles to suit their age, gender and facial contours in order to         (For Suitable Candidates) — In Proud Partnership With
satisfy their expectations of a brilliant smile. Patients locally,       da Vinci Porcelain Veneers
interstate and from all over the world confer with him to custom
design an Unforgettable Smile to last a lifetime.                      • Beverly Hills Smile Makeover Weekend Appointments
If you are looking to see your favorite star or if you just
                                                                       • A Specialized State Of The Art Beverly Hills Dental Facility
want to experience Los Angeles the way the celebrities
do, spend a weekend with us in Beverly Hills, getting your
                                                                       • Same Day Dental Implants & Full Mouth Reconstruction
Beverly Hills Smile Makeover by Dr Stan, and still have time
to experience one of the world’s best neighborhoods. Spot
                                                                       • Hi-Tech Laser Whitening
your favorite celebs, and enjoy all the shopping, dining,
dancing and entertainment that Beverly Hills has to offer.
                                                                       • Our Resources Are Available To Help You Plan Your Weekend
Ask Us About Our Easy Finance Options & Cosmetic                         Smile Makeover Trip To Beverly Hills
Restoration Guarantees.

          BEFORE                                             BEFORE                                         ENTER NOW FOR YOUR
                                                                                                          CHANCE TO WIN YOUR OWN
                                                                                                           BEVERLY HILLS
           AFTER                                              AFTER                                       SMILE MAKEOVER:

   Terri and Marcos’ Smile Makeovers
   by Dr. Joseph Stan DDS

Contact us for a Complimentary Consultation.
could not, under any circumstance,         The cheese was fairly good then, usually
eat white “enriched” bread. She
had standards. And so, because she         something fancy like Fontina or Gruyère, but
thought it looked the most nutritious      the bread—So crisp!—was the star. I laughed
in the aisle, Roman Meal became
our daily bread. “Look at that Roman       my dot-com era laugh, thinking about my
guy,” my sister would say, and we’d        humble beginnings eating Roman Meal.
stare at the virile, half-naked warrior
who represented, somehow, the very         ing into a hot pink goop that paired      cheese, like my mother taught me.
essence of bread.                          nicely with the slippery ’shrooms         I fell in love with the local, artisan-
   The cheese, for my mom’s meager         and onions. I ate one of those cafete-    made cheeses from places like
budget, was a splurge. It was usually      ria grilled cheeses at least every day.   Cowgirl Creamery and Andante.
an aged cheddar from Tillamook,            After the first three months of this      Even when I splurged on these ingre-
Oregon, which gave a tangy bite            diet—supplemented with boxes of           dients, a Point Reyes Blue cheese
when you ate it raw. Cooked, it grew       Cheese Nips, my favorite dorm store       grilled between an Acme Bread
shiny but didn’t melt so much as           snack—I finally grew breasts.             ciabatta or a Humboldt Fog wiped
crumple. Still, I favored it over Ameri-                                             on a hot La Farine baguette was still
can slices, which we were taught to        III. The Boom I discovered good           a relatively cheap dinner.
despise as much as the white bread.        bread post-college. Against all odds,
                                           I found a job in book publishing          V. The Goat Eager to follow in my
II. The Dorm In 1989 In high               that utilized my worthless English        mother’s homesteading tradition,
school I went vegetarian, and soon         degree. I was headquartered in Seat-      but not wanting to move to a rural
all I ate were grilled cheese sand-        tle, which was brimming with quality      area, I started a little farm—bees,
wiches, cooked the way my mother           bread in the ’90s. Artisan bread, I       chickens, vegetables, turkeys—near
taught me. Then I went to college. I       discovered, made damn good grilled        downtown Oakland. I didn’t have
lived in dorms with cafeterias that        cheeses. I would take prospective         enough land for a cow, so I settled
served nothing but meat-infused            authors and copy editors to places        on mini-goats. I got my first Nigerian
horrors. The only vegetarian option        like the Essential Baking Company,        Dwarf dairy goat in 2008. Her name
was their grilled cheese sandwich.         Macrina Bakery, and Grand Central         was—and still is—Bebe. She had her
They weren’t the almost-healthy            Bakery, where I’d almost always           first set of twins in February, and I
Roman Meal-bread grilled cheeses           order the grilled cheese. The cheese      began to milk her, giving some to the
of my teen years, either—two of the        was fairly good then, usually some-       kids, and reserving some for myself.
cafeteria’s gut-bombs could have           thing imported and fancy like fontina     As the milk stockpiled, I became
killed a Yeti. The sliced bread was        or Gruyère, but the bread—So crisp!       obsessed with cappuccinos. Soon,
thick and white. If the pus-colored        So flavorful! So assertive!—was the       I had more than I knew what to do
cheese oozed onto the faux-wood            star of those sandwiches. I laughed       with, and like every person with too
veneered tabletop, a chisel was            my dot-com era laugh, thinking            much milk on her hands, I made
needed to remove the resin-like goo.       about my humble beginnings eating         cheese. Chevre was good and easy.
The cafeteria cooks insisted that          Roman Meal.                               Then I moved onto bloomy rinds.
their grilled cheese come with the                                                   After Bebe’s next kidding, I made my
proper “condiments”: grilled onions        IV. The Crash The crash was good          first hard cheeses. My mom bought
and mushrooms. These thickly cut           for grilled cheese, too. I left Seattle   me a cheese press: a big wooden
additions were cooked on the same          post-9/11 for the Bay Area, impov-        thing made by Amish people. I used
griddle as the burgers and sausages.       erished yet happy. I was even more        it to make my first wheel of goat
I wasn’t a vegetarian purist, and          impressed with Berkeley’s artisanal       cheddar, which aged three months
sopped up the extra fat and grease         bread, which was as good or better        and tasted like a tangy dream.
with enthusiasm. I should add that         than the loaves up in Seattle. Best           Meanwhile, I tried to make my
this grilled cheese, which marked          of all, the day-old goods were often      own bread. I’ve used a 100-year-old
an era of newly found freedom and          thoughtfully placed outside the           sourdough (and killed it when I went
experimentation for me, came with a        bread shops at the end of each night      on vacation). I’ve kneaded dough
few slices of tomato inside. The ’mat-     for scroungers like me. Scrounger         and liked it. I’ve used the no-knead
ers cooked amid the cheese, melt-          though I was, I still bought good         technique. Cooked it in wood-fired

96 | Spirit
ovens. Cooked it in a Dutch oven.
The bread was fine, but I soon real-
ized that it wasn’t my passion. Plus, I
had discovered San Francisco’s Tar-
tine Bakery, and I knew I’d never be
able to make bread that good.

VI. California, 2010 Now when I
want grilled cheese, I stand, like a
good donkey, in a line snaking out
the door to buy a loaf of Tartine’s
levain bread. When I get it home, I
slice off two pieces, wipe them with
butter, and put them in my cast iron
skillet. While they gently sizzle, I
cut three good pieces of my goat
cheddar, flip the bread, and add the
cheese to the hot side. I might think
of the tomato from my dorm days, or
the pickle from my childhood, but
with just a nod of acknowledgment.
I meld the bread together and press
down on the sandwich with the bot-
tom of a smaller cast iron pan. Then
flip it and do the same to the other
side. The grilled cheese is served
at a table that overlooks my little
ghetto garden in Oakland.
   The Tartine bread sings with
crunchy sourness, and the cheddar
has softened into a pool of goaty
richness. The warmth is sooth-
ing, the chewing satisfying. I hear
the goats in the backyard, milling
around, waiting for their dinner of
alfalfa. In that moment, I feel thank-
ful for the labor that went into creat-
ing the ingredients that make up the
meal. I feel sorry for vegans, maybe.
   I’m almost 40 now, and that’s my
short history, told through bread
and cheese. We’ll see how the story
changes over the next 40 years.
I’m sure that bread will continue to
be toasted, and cheese will most
likely melt, and these two things
do go together. It’s the details that

Novella Carpenter’s Farm City: The
Education of An Urban Farmer was
recently released in paperback.

                                          Spirit | 97

Shared By: