Sunday, December 2, 2012

the architecture of taste

tuna salad

update, september 2015: mile end's sandwiches now appear to be slipshod execution and heartbreak. look elsewhere for sandwich perfection.

cold tuna/red onion/celery salad with hot fried capers and cold celery leaf (+10 points), self-sauced with a warm soft-center egg and lemon aioli, on warm slices of (i think) raisin pumpernickel grilled in schmaltz on the inside faces only. from mile end sandwich on bond street, an establishment run by people who give a damn about the theory and practice of sandwiches.

toasting the bread on the inside face neatly solves the problem of the toasted outside face becoming too tough or crunchy to bite through without crushing the crumb underneath.* toasting in schmaltz means that the inside face takes a while to get soggy even under the pile of tuna salad. i strongly favour seasoning with sharp bursts of flavour, so the fried capers were particularly welcome. however, there was a bit too much salt sprinkled over the top of the egg (visible above), and i would find a way to put a tasty moisture barrier under salad and aioli to prevent the dressing from oozing out. but these are minor quibbles; this sandwich is a marvel of diverse temperatures, textures, and flavours.

this and mile end's chicken salad are the best sandwiches i've had in years. (yes, they leave even the very fine po'boys and muffulettas of new orleans in the dust. it's not their fault they weren't made by sandwich nerds.)

* architectonic problems like these should keep the owners of high-priced sandwich shops awake at night, yet we are continually beset by sandwiches with fatally flawed construction: breads so resilient that biting through them causes all the filling to splay out in disarray, tomatoes sliced too thickly to be severed in a single bite, fibrous vegetables left in large pieces, dressings of insufficient or excessive viscosity, meats cut along instead of across the grain. the list is depressingly long.

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