Thursday, February 18, 2016

On Sandwiches... (Today's: Bauernschinken, Bread, Butter)

I had quite the nice day yesterday. First, I was over at the Home Despot (Depot) on Central Ave. in Albany poking about the garden department. A nice gentleman and I struck up a conversation about starting seedlings inside under grow-lights. Knowledge was shared, pictures were shown, tips were given... Boy do I love some good gardening banter.

To gild the day's lily I decided to swing by Rolf's Pork Store (Lexington Ave., Albany) under the auspices of "only picking up some bacon." Who am I kidding? I never walk out of the place without a large paper sack having spent at least 50 bucks.

Part of my haul was some good German bread and a pound of Bauernschinken (I splurged). As I was making my breakfast open-faced sandwich I decided to share some thoughts on bread and meat.

Eating bread and meat together is a lost art. Most everyone seems to have been conditioned from birth to pile half of a deli cold-cold case and the contents of a small kitchen garden on top of a bread-y vehicle at the very sound of the word "sandwich."

I blame both the Jewish deli tradition of meat-pile sandwiches and the ubiquitous fast food "sub" shops that abound in our horrid age. Not that I have anything against Jewish delis or sub shops (except Subway which smells bad). But they have warped our sense of "sandwich."

I am an enormous fan of sandwiches (often open-faced) made with scant ingredients on sturdy bread. A couple thin slices of flavorful cured meat, perhaps a smear of one dairy fat or the other, and a slice of bread. This is all you need. You have to resist the urge to overcomplicate things. No limp lettuce, no out of season 'maters, and definitely no foul goo of the demons (mayo) out of a jar.

I think I spent 20 dollars on the pound of Rolf's Bauernschinken (worth every penny) and it dishonors the quality of the ham to mask its flavor. By the way, Rolf's doesn't get enough credit for their meat slicing. Every slice of the ham is paper-thin and beautiful.

Here are some steps to get good bread and meats in your belly.

Step 1: Bread.

Step 2: A smear of something. Herb butter this time.

Step 3: Ogle meats for a bit. Sniff the meat. Smile at it some.

Step 4: Layer meats. A thin layer. If its good you don't need much.

Step 5: Eat sandwich standing up in kitchen while your dumb mutt stares at you (dumb mutt out of frame).

I could eat many, many of these. Today I ate 2. But I could eat many, many more.

Below linked are more ramblings on this theme. I have been posting for many years now, I'm getting repetitive in my themes. Food blogs are a flat circle. I trust you will forgive me this.

Salami and Butter Sandwiches
Grilled Headcheesus
Rolf's Teawurst/Prinzo's Bread

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