The late singer-songwriter Warren Zevon was asked by David Letterman just before his death whether being aware that his life was coming to an end had changed his outlook. Amongst other things, Warren said three words that are as good a mantra to live your life by as any: “Enjoy every sandwich.”
A sandwich is a beautiful, simple thing. Two slices of bread with something in the middle. It can be quick, made without thought and eaten in haste, or it can be considered, decadent and utterly delicious. These 5 are some of the best things I’ve put in my mouth.
Fishfinger Sandwich(es) I Ate Growing Up
Growing up I lived around the corner from school, and so much of the time I’d come home for lunch. My Gran would be at the house, I’d watch Call My Bluff (hey remember Call My Bluff? Ace wasn’t it) and I’d eat a fishfinger sandwich. Plastic white bread, 4 fishfingers mashed down with a fork, lots of ketchup. It’s still my comfort food of choice, and has more than once saved me during times of heartache and personal turmoil. A mention must go to both The Breakfast Club and The Slaughtered Lamb in Farringdon, who both to a fine posh fishfinger sarnie, with tartare sauce and the like. Y’know, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Hot Beef & Melted Cheese Sandwich I Ate In Greenwich
Greenwich is a wonderful place, a small tangle of roads nestled in the nook of the Thames. It has the best park in London and also the best sandwich, from the Red Cow Carvery in Greenwich Market. Again, it’s decidedly simple – a big haunch of beef cooked on a skillet, carved up and tossed around with gravy and sticky-sweet onions. Next: half a wheel of cheese melted under a salamander. Beef goes on bread, cheese scraped over beef, spread with mustard (because mustard) and go in. A big sexy mess of a sandwich.
Lardo, Walnuts and Pepper Sandwich I Ate When A Bit Pissed
Good friend, great writer (of this website and others) and wine lover John Underwood lives but a 15 minute walk from me, which is convenient when it comes to stumbling home as I only have to turn two corners – easy. A while ago, the morning after one of these stumbles, I had to go and fetch my guitar from him, and ended up staying all day, drinking 4 bottles of Beaujolais and eating this most beautiful of sandwiches. Lardo, which is basically pork back fat, cut sashimi thin and laid upon warm baguettes, topped with cracked walnuts, lemon and black pepper. It looks a bit weird but it is divine, the lardo reminiscent of really good salami, slowly melting into the bread. You can get it from specialist butchers I think, John got his from Marky Market, who you can find on Twitter or carrying hunks of meat around Soho.
Shooter’s Sandwich I Ate On Boxing Day 2012
A shooter’s sandwich is an important sandwich. It is hollowed out bread, filled with two fried sirloin steaks, mushroom duxelle, horseradish and mustard, weighted down overnight and sliced like a cake. It’s more like a pie than a sandwich really, and goes really well with some sharp, pickley chutney thing, which our house is usually full of. Picalilli would be phenomenal with this sandwich, for instance. I think I ate an entire one over the course of 2 or 3 days. As I said, important.
Bacon Sandwich I Ate Just Now
I’m hungover, but not too hungover that I feel like I’m going to die. I worry these hangovers are dwindling, and as I get older they’ll become worse, and I won’t have the nous to get up, stick the kettle on and grill loads of smoked, streaky bacon until it’s beautifully crisp and singed at the edges. Sun is pouring in through the window, there is quiet in the air, and I feel like I could, if I wanted to, go outside. Except the kettle’s just boiled again, so I’m going to go and do that instead.
Follow Harry on Twitter, @CmonHarris