The most state-y state sandwich...
...is also the most sandwich-y sandwich.
Quick! When you think of a sandwich, what comes to mind? I’m guessing not a burger. Probably not something seafood-related like a fried Walleye sandwich or a Shrimp Po’Boy. Open-faced “sandwiches” are out (here’s throwing shade at you, Navajo Taco). Definitely not a fluffernutter.
I’d guess that your brain takes you to the world of cold-cuts and sliced bread. Perhaps it’s toasted with some melted cheese. Mayo or mustard is involved. There’s a vegetable topping or two. In short, something like this:
You know what there hasn’t been a lot of throughout the past 45 weeks of “Sandwich Sundays?” That.
Or even this:
OK, maybe we had that last one. But I’m guessing it’s not the one that comes to mind if someone runs up to you on the street and yells “SANDWICH!”
There have been a lot of very good — and some decidedly not-so-good — sandwiches, but none of them fit the cuisine-standard for a good-old-fashioned, stereotypical sandwich.
That is, until now.
Forty-five weeks into eating sandwiches exclusively off of this list, and we finally have our poster-child. Vermont came through in a clutch with what I am definitively calling “the Most Sandwich-y Sandwich” on the list (please see the subheadline of this article if you doubt my conviction to this title).
The original Vermonter is the brain-sandwich of Jason Maroney, owner of Sweetwaters American Bistro in Burlington. He came up with the sandwich as a way to incorporate Vermont apples into local food. I guess Jason didn’t want Vermont apples to feel like an outsider ingredient, because the rest of the ingredients are Vermont Turkey (and/or Vermont Ham), Vermont sharp cheddar cheese, and Vermont maple mustard on fresh-baked artisan bread (obviously, ideally from Vermont). This list of ingredients also makes it the most State-y State sandwich. No other sandwich on the list is quite so hard-core on utilizing local ingredients.
I was quite pleased with my California-based self that I was able to find Vermont turkey, sharp cheddar, and maple syrup. The rest of the ingredients all checked-off the boxes — apples, grainy mustard, raisin-pecan artisan bread — but they weren’t necessarily from Vermont. But all things considered, not too bad!
The sandwiches themselves were very easy to put together. In case you’re sitting there wondering “but how easy??” allow me to elaborate: very easy. If you’ve ever made a sandwich, it was like that, but with apple slices instead of tomatoes.
We tried a new oven-based technique I’d read about online for toasting a bunch of sandwiches at once. The title of the article should have been “how to waste time pretending to oven toast sandwiches,” because it did not work. It was like trying to boil water using a hairdryer — wasn’t gonna happen.
No matter, though, because good players adjust and we adjusted to the stovetop with relative ease. Literally four minutes later, the sandwiches were ready to go.
They tasted like you’d imagine that mind-picture of a perfect sandwich would taste like. The turkey was turkey-y, the sharp cheddar was sharp cheddary, the maple mustard was both mapley and mustardy, the apples were appley, the artisan bread was artisan bready. And it all worked together to be almost perfect…y.
I didn’t think a sandwich this simple would catapult to the top of my arbitrary mind-list of the best sandwiches we’ve had on this culinary adventure, but it’s a sandwich that’s not just full of Vermont, but full of surprises, I guess. The only way to make this sandwich more Vermont is to have Bernie Sanders eating it while wearing his favorite Vermont-made mittens and then finishing off the meal with a pint from Vermont’s favorite entrepreneurial sons, Ben and Jerry.
That may be the most Vermont thing to ever happen.
When eating sandwiches isn’t enough, read about them too!
What’s the most sandwich-y sandwich you’ve ever scarfed?