Hey there. I’m Will, and I really bloody love sandwiches. I appreciate that mightn’t make me sound very exciting. I’m under no illusions that it seems a peculiar thing to which to dedicate a blog, but my love goes a little further than enjoying a lunchtime ham bap or late-night cheese toastie.
Though I can scarcely remember a day before I indulged the habit of sticking some-filling-or-other between two slices, I suppose there must have been a time when I had yet to enjoy the unique, and severely underappreciated, pleasure that is the mess saving, carb-boosting, getting-food-into-your-face technique known as the sandwich. What I can say for certain is that my first sarnie love affair was with Marmite (that’s right: I’m splitting my audience from the start). I then graduated to cheese and marmite, and from then I was hooked. That particular winning combination has remained a staple favourite which, aside from a brief dental-retainer-mess-avoiding break in my middle-teens, I return to whenever I need a comforting taste of home and childhood innocence.
But it is only as I have developed an interest in cooking, and most recently the baking of bread, that this love affair has come sharply into focus. As my taste in food has matured (and boy was there room), so too my taste in bread and fillings have moved from supermarket-white and waffer theen ham into a more refined and diverse selection of loaves, cures, and cheeses.
I love the treat of a coffee and sarnie out and about, be it with friends, or (secretly my favourite) by myself with a window seat and closed-back headphones. I have an opinion on the correct level of par-toasting for the bread of a fried-egg hangover sarnie. Don’t even get me started on cheddar. Oh alright do, but thats for another article.
When you consider the effort (or lack thereof) that can go into a sandwich, even something as “simple” as a BLT, then you can begin to appreciate that, far from being a dull lunchtime stand-by, the sandwich can be the culmination of a number of crafts and the marriage of some of life’s purest pleasures. The well-reared, orchard-grazing, free-range pig that becomes the “B”, the lovingly grown, “L” and “T”, defended from pests and warmed in a polytunnel duvet, the precisely-ground flour, fed through the hands of a master baker who works his magic to turn it into our daily bread… Did I mention I’m a compulsively-verbose romantic?
Whether bought elsewhere, or made by hand, from a bakery loaf or home-baked bread, deli-sourced ham or home-salted beef, I’m on a quest for the perfect sarnie, and this is my ongoing sarnie-story.