“The importance of the sandwich to western habits of eating is incalculable.”
Oxford Companion to Food
We have all partaken in the convenience that a sandwich brings to a meal. There are very few meals that can be eaten on the go, but you can almost always rely on a sandwich to feed you while, say, multitasking, walking, or driving (which of course, you should never do). It is largely for this reason that I have decided to take Anatomy of a Sandwich on the road. That’s right…for the next month, I will be driving cross country, taking down the best sandwiches America has to offer.
This all worked out because of my friends at Love, the Bus: Tyler, Seth, and Corey. Last year, they converted an old school bus into a biodiesel RV, and then spent last summer traveling from Maine to Los Angeles. The purpose of the trip? To help people who deserve it (mostly youth organizations) by doing crazy activities. They made the trip interactive by creating a web series where people could not only follow along, but also suggest challenges, places to go, and people to help. Four months on the road, 2,300 donated dollars, and six months of re-padding the bank accounts later, the boys are driving Chartreuse back to Maine, and kindly invited me to join them! Aside from following my eating adventures here, you can also follow our trip by clicking the link above!
Welcome to THE ANATOMY OF A SANDWICH…
I recently graduated from Connecticut College with a BA in Anthropology and a unique perspective on food. Much of my work focused on food’s role in culture, including my Honors Thesis: an anthropological study of olive oil. In my opinion, food is one of the most interesting objects of study in terms of Anthropology because eating is UNIVERSAL, providing a strong basis for cultural comparison. In addition, eating and food are very personal: individuals choose what they eat based on tastes, cultural restrictions and rules, aesthetics, connotations, and more.
For me, the sandwich has always been the epitome of the customization of foodstuffs. From the type of bread, to the kind of meat (or no meat at all), to cheese, fixings…the possibilities are endless. Furthermore, it seems to me that every cuisine has its own variation on the sandwich concept. This is why you will find more than just the traditional sandwich in this blog…be prepared to look at your food in a new way!
Happy reading and eating!