Monday, September 26, 2011

The Best Sandwich I Ever Ate

I was 22 years old and in Italy, alone. I was on a college tour, and had lost my passport in Rome. So the tour had to move on and I had to stay an extra day in Rome (downright awful, right?) to get my new passport. I was taking a train (I forget where, I think it was to meet up with the tour in Florence) but it was late in the day and I was starving, and broke. You see along with my passport, my Amex card was gone too, and I couldn't get a replacement for another few days. So, I had to make do with what little cash I had, and I was budgeting very carefully.

At the train platform, there was a lone vendor selling sandwiches. I did not have very high hopes for this lunch, but I figured, eh, it will be filling at least. I bought one. I heard "mozzerrella e tomate" and I though, how bad could it be, I paid the guy, took my wax-paper and string wrapped sammie, and hustled up onto the train.

Once settled in my seat, I unwrapped my "sang-weeche". The bread was crusty on the outside, yet soft and yeilding, not crunchy. I took a bite.... juicy, vine-ripe tomato, juices dripping, soft creamy mozzerella, and a couple of basil leaves on top of it all, nestled together in the most wonderful, chewy, warm, delicious bread ever. It was a revelation: how could the best sandwich I ever had in my life be gotten on a train platform? I savored every last bite and enjoyed it like no other meal I'd had to this point in my life.

That sandwich has haunted me ever since. I have tried many different breads, driving to the famed La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles, making my own Italian bread, trying the Italian bakeries around L.A. I see similar sandwiches listed on menus, and although good, never meet my expectations. Sometimes I wonder: Was it really that good? Maybe because I was so hungry and so young, what did I know? But, no, it was that good.

Today, I got close. VERY close. I wasn't even aiming for it, either. I bought this new "Whole-Grain Ciabetta" bread from Sam's. I think La Brea does make it for them, although not sure about that. I toasted it lightly in my broiler.

Then  I made a salad out of the last tomatoes of the season, very sweet little cherry tomatoes and one heiloom, with garlic, salt, pepper, evoo, fresh basil and some balsamic.

I then melted some fresh mozz on top of one of the halves until it was bubbly.

I ate, fork and knife style, because it was just too juicy. But the first bite: I thought, could it be? It was so delicious and very very close to the texture and flavors of my idol sandwich.

Try it, so easy! And maybe you'll have a sandwich revelation, too!

Make it a Great Day!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by!! I love your comments!