While the rest of you are wasting time making personal improvement resolutions, I’m kicking off 2010 by coming up with new and exciting schemes for securing global fame and fortune.
I’m thinking that inventing this year’s hot new sandwich might be a good angle.
It seems like each and every year a new sandwich takes America by storm and what could possibly be easier than: 1) inventing a delicious sandwich that’s never been thought of before, 2) opening a restaurant that sells the aforementioned sandwich, 3) garnering many positive reviews in the media and creating an insatiable demand, 4) franchising the whole operation and 5) retiring on a houseboat with all of my delectable sandwich money?
Last year’s big sandwich was the Vietnamese concoction known as the Bahn Mi. A bahn mi is a baguette filled with pickled carrots and radishes, cilantro, cucumbers, mayo, and literally anything else that can be jammed into the bread: meat, eggs, old newspapers, whatever. Now, that may sound disgusting, but the Bahn Mi was the perfect sandwich for the recession year of 2009: it’s super-cheap and it has a cool name (bahn mi means ‘bread’ in Vietnamese. Methinks that “bread sandwich” is somewhat less catchy than “bahn mi”.)
So there are the first two pieces of the puzzle: our new sandwich for 2010 needs to be cheap and it needs a cool name.
In Boston we have the truly awesome chacarero sandwich, which is allegedly a traditional Chilean sandwich. (I say allegedly because no one has ever been to Chile to confirm its provenance, or for that matter, to confirm that Chile really exists.) The chacarero features homemade bread (kind of a cross between a roll and a pita), green beans, avocado, tomatoes, muenster cheese, hot sauce and either beef or chicken (or both). The chacarero is very popular and commands impossibly long lines at lunchtime.
Studying the Chacarero gives us two more secrets for creating the perfect sandwich: the crucial role of good bread and the need for a mysterious origin/backstory.
Many of you may be familiar with the wrap sandwich. While tasty, the wrap sandwich represents cultural imperialism of the worst kind. You see, the wrap is nothing more than a bastardized burrito. A good burrito is a wonderful thing – the perfect lunch that’s just big enough to ruin dinner and set you up for a night of early dessert gorging. But the reason that the wrap will never be cool is because people seek authenticity, and there’s nothing authentic about a burrito made out of tuna fish. Our perfect sandwich will most assuredly be authentic.
Finally, we must also remember to include bacon. “Vegetarian’s kryptonite” as I like to call it – bacon is the perfect food. The problem with bacon, of course, is that everyone knows that it’s bad for you. As a result, people feel guilty when adding it onto their sandwiches. Our challenge is to include bacon on our sandwich without making people feel guilty about ordering it.
So there you have it. The big idea sandwich for 2010 needs to:
1) Be cheap ($5 maximum)
2) Have a cool name (i.e. not English)
3) Feature good bread (no seeds or oats or grains or weird shit)
4) Possess a mysterious backstory (think J. Peterman)
5) Be authentic
6) Include bacon (but not that fake Canadian stuff)
Introducing…The Chazer Mekheye
In ancient times, a small but forgotten tribe of Jews, known only as the Hogakanazi, fought the rabbinical authority and refused to consider the world’s most delicious animal, the pig, as treif (or non-kosher). These brave Jews spent thousands of years in hiding, honing and refining the perfect sandwich – known only as the Chazer Mekheye – as a symbol of their devotion and solidarity.
The dying wish of the last of the Hogakanazis was to finally share this incredible sandwich with the rest of the world. The secret of the Chazer Mekheye was entrusted to just one man – me – and now I will share the fruit of the Hogakanazis with you. In 2010 I invite you to experience this nearly-forgotten culinary delicacy.
Each Chazer Mekheye is lovingly hand-crafted on our unique artisan Hogakanzi bacon-infused bagel, with a dab of horseradish mayonnaise, crisp leaf lettuce, vine-ripened tomato, Vidalia onion and your choice of beef, chicken or combo. All for just $5.
The Chazer Mekheye. It’s so good you might just plotz.