between the wheat.

My grandmother judges restaurants on one essential: the quality of the bread.  When we go out for a casual meal, the bread basket is immediately attacked upon being set on our table, and before the waiter has finished scribbling our orders, another basket has been requested.  

peach and almond butter sandwichgrilled peach and almond butter

I have many familial associations with bread.  Slicing bakery fresh challah on Friday evenings.  Carting three dozen bialys out of the city for my father, because New York bialys are the only legitimate kind.  Walking to the center of our summer vacation town for morning bagels.

lunchhummus, tomato, squash, eggplant, fennel greens

Unsurprisingly, my family’s bread addiction has resulted in a near equal love for sandwiches.  The union of good, grainy bread along with millions of flavor combinations – paired with an oversized salad, it is pretty much my ideal meal.  

mango and avocado sandwichmango, avocado, goat cheese

There are some sandwiches I’ll never forget.  After a long day wandering what seemed Paris’ entire left bank, my sister and I stood at a counter in the Bastille and shared a warm tomato and basil baguette, topped off with just a touch of mozzarella.  We strolled through three arrondissements after cleaning our fingertips in order to return to our hotel, all the while gushing about the brilliance of French food, whether it be elegant dining or counter-style.

And I’ll always remember my first peanut butter and banana sandwich, savored after years without peanut butter in my life.  I mashed the banana, added some cinnamon, and grilled the sandwich on the stovetop.  It was luscious, gooey, and a testament to health.

carrot and avocado sandwichshredded carrot, avocado, hot sauce

I am currently without a loaf of sandwich bread, but it is holding a secure spot at the top of my Monday grocery list.  

Do you have a favorite sandwich memory?



Filed under lunch

13 responses to “between the wheat.

  1. I wish my grandma judged restaurants on the quality of bread. Instead she judged them based on the amount of “free condiments” she could stuff into her purse without causing a scene.

    Anyway, I LOVE this post, as I love sandwiches and perfect bread myself. Every photo made me want to jump through the screen. If I have a great grainy, wheat bread, the sandwich will be delicious.

    My favorites are simply peanut butter and banana and any combo of avocado, real cheese, hummus and assorted veggies. Boring, but perfect to me!

  2. Oh yum! All your sandwiches look so delicious! My favorite right now is Panera’s tomato mozzarella. Heaven.

  3. I can’t tell you how much I love this post! Sandwiches are my all-time favourite food… I avoided bread for years but am definitely making up for it! Fresh baked challah, NY bialy’s…all your creations sound incredible.

    I could list dozens of sandwiches that have been amazing for me. One that stands out in my mind is an egg salad sandwich on health bread from Zabar’s in NY. It marked the first day of a new chapter in my life (which I won’t spam your comments section with!) and I don’t think I’ll ever forget that lunch.

  4. my babysitter growing up used to make us grilled cheese – wonder bread with american and butter – horrible, horrible (in hindsight) but MAN it was good.

  5. I do think the bread is just as important as the filling when making a sandwich. I do love baguettes and prefer brown bread. As a child I hated bread, my Mum made her own bread and I disliked it, I ate it, but didn’t love it. So my the best memory of sandwiches would be the first sandwich I bought from a sandwich shop (I can’t remember the filling) now I love homemade bread 🙂

  6. Your grandmother is a wise lady!

    I adore bread and I think it can really make the sandwich. A sandwich isn’t just about the filling. You’ve got to have quality bread for it to be REALLY delicious. Right now I’m obsessed with flaxseed bread 🙂

  7. foodnfit

    That sandwich looks delicious!

  8. I adore sandwiches and probably have at least one a day.

  9. Amy

    Bread is absolutely make-or-break, no questions about it!

  10. Wow, I love all these sandwich combos!!! Definitely some creative ingredients! I have to say I was pretty proud of myself when I put together a sandwich topped with pumpkin spread, warmed apple slices, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chopped walnuts. SO good!


  11. Good bread and your choice of filling, one can never go wrong with a sandwich.
    Fave SW memory? Making sandwiches for me and my Dad to brown bag for lunch. Whenever I pulled out my SW for lunch, I knew that my Dad was also having the exact same lunch in his office. 😀

  12. My most vivid sandwich memory is walking the two blocks from my house to the local corner store and ordering a roast beef po-boy. The gravy would soak into the soft New Orleans french bread. The crust would still have a crunch and the gravy would sometimes drip down your arm. Of course I always ordered it dressed (lettuce, tomato, and the local mayonnaise). Healthy, probably not — good, YES!!!

  13. allikay

    I do the same thing at restaurants. When my brothers and I were kids, my parents hated the never-ending bread plates because we’d fill up on the rolls and loaves and not be able to finish our meals! (And for Mexican restaurants, if the chips and salsa aren’t quality, forget it.)

    I’ve taken to lightly toasting wheat bread, drizzling it with olive oil, and sprinkling a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano before adding the fillings. Also, my grandpa taught me a trick for grilled cheese: sprinkle some Parmesan on top of the butter before putting it in the pan. “You’ve got to add a little something extra,” he’d say.

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