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American Sandwich Paperback – October 8, 2004
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From the Inside Flap
Contents Acknowledgements Introduction An American Sandwich Timeline Great American Sandwiches by State Index
From the Back Cover
Great recipes fromv all 50 States.
Where is the best place in the West to get a French Dip? The best place in the South if you have a hankering for a pimiento cheese? What is P B & J Bama Cristo? Whether for breakfast, lunch, or supper, the recipes in this book offer the best from each of the 50 states. Along with tidbits of sandwich lore and state history, AMerican Sandwich is the perfect combination of food, ffacts, and fun. It's a book that's sure to hit the spot!
Based on the PBS special "Sandwiches That You Will Like," produced by WQED Multimedia, Pittsburgh.
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"American Sandwich" is kind of a companion volume to Mr. Sebak's masterpiece--it includes some of the same memorable, droolworthy sandwiches--but it is actually much more. While Mr. Sebak took a "shotgun" approach in his travels around the country, "American Sandwich" goes it one better by featuring recipes for one hallmark sandwich each from all 50 states.
After a short introduction to the mystique of sandwiches, and a brief timeline tracing the rising popularity of sandwiches in American culinary culture, author Becky Mercuri gets to the "meat" of the matter. Alphabetized by state, she covers each signature sandwich in two to four readable, well-laid-out pages that, in addition to the recipe, contain other interesting, useful tidbits. Each sandwich gets a sidebar that describes its origin and history--the story of the muffaletta, for example, takes up a whole page of the Louisiana section. There's a "Where to Go" entry (sometimes more than one) with the address of the best place to sample the sandwich when you're on the road. You'll know to get your Iowa loosemeat sandwich at Taylor's Maid-Rite in Marshalltown, for example. Many sections also have a "Need a Quick Fix?" entry that lists mail-order or Internet sources for ingredients or for complete sandwiches. Vintage sepia-toned photos illustrate each section, many of them old postcards that touch on each state's history and provide glimpses of life in much simpler times. The only thing missing is pictures of the actual sandwiches themselves, which may seem like a strange omission for a cookbook, but in no way detracts from its value and usefulness--the "word pictures" alone are enough to put your salivary glands on overtime.
As a bona fide "foodie," adventurous cook and inveterate road-tripper, I can't praise "American Sandwich" enough, and I can't recommend it too highly. These sandwiches are classic road food in the best sense of the term, and Ms. Mercuri's work includes the best of both possible worlds--she tells you where to find them and also how to make them yourself--a winning combination. Now you'll have to excuse me while I go put together a Cuban (the recipe from Miami, Florida, is on page 28) and pop it into the sandwich press...
The book however does give you the history of the area, customs of the people and references the sandwich shops addresses along with phone numbers and sometimes internet web pages.