We all love sandwiches and if anybody says differently you better keep an eye on them because they are up to something. Though I am willing to wager the average person might have the knowledge to make four sandwiches tops. This might be due to keeping things simple for simplicity sake, but for some of us its due to the fact that we don’t know how to make anything more complex then a PB&J or Ham Sandwich. What if you want to make a grinder? Or Italian Beef? Or a delicious Pastrami on Rye (so delicious you guys)? Till now you were at the mercy of tyrannical sandwich shop, but now thanks to Quirk Books your inquisitive sandwich loving self can learn how to make any sandwich under the sun thanks to The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches by Susan Russo.
Russo is best known as an online NPR contributor and food blogger over at her personal site Food Blogga. To judge simply by her writing, it is apparent that she loves teaching people about food. That sensibility carries over to The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches as this book is jam packed with recipes for any sandwich you could possibly want from the simple (Grilled Cheese), the complex (Dagwood), the decadent (The Elvis), or just the plain delicious (pastrami on rye. I told you all it was delicious!). Each sandwich is presented with simple step by step instructions broken down to the point where you could actually take the book to the local deli and have exactly what you need to make one of theses within ten minutes. Now I know that just sounds like the description of a run of the mill cookbook, but luckily Russo steps it up by also adding short history and factoids to every single sandwich in the book with her keen eye for detail and research prowess. So even if you don’t end up using every recipe in the book at the very least you’ll pick up a couple of things for the next Pub Trivia Challenge.
Russo is accompanied in the credits of this book with photographer Matt Armendariz. I don’t know whether or not Russo and Armendariz met up one day to a sandwich party, but Armendariz provides a picture for every single sandwich in this book and somehow every picture profiles the sandwich at its most Delicious looking angle! AThat is a skill that can not be praised nearly enough for a book like this.
If they’re are any criticisms to have with the book, they are two fold. The first is that a few of the recipes in this book are absurdly simple. A piece of meat between two slices of bread simple, which isn’t a huge problem but it did stop me in my tracks while reading the book and think “Really? We needed a page to explain how to make that….ok then”. The second problem is that it mentions the Earl of Sandwich story**. Whether or not the story is true I cannot say, but every time I hear it I cant help thinking it’s a bit ridiculous. Other than that, this is a great book that every sandwich enthusiast and foodie should have on their shelf.
- Simple recipes
- Well Researched Histories and Fun Factoids
- Mouth watering photography
- Some of the recipes are too simple
- That Earl of Sandwich Story
**Editors note – We here at Guerrilla Geek wish to express that we in no way call into question the honor of The Right Honourable John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich and the claims of his glorious concoction.