Author Archives: Spencer Griffin

Commentary: The Ephemerality of the Sandwich

“All we are is dust in the wind, dude.” – Bill S. Preston, Esq.

The Michaelangelo, from the erstwhile The Italian Market, in Merrifield.

The Michaelangelo, from the erstwhile The Italian Market, in Merrifield.

One of the major themes of this blog is the enduring nature of the medium to which it is dedicated. While Sandwich Jack’s recent post What is a Sandwich?┬ádemonstrated that there is room for debate over the exact taxonomy of a sandwich, the entire exercise was an attempt to apply a timeless standard that would be as recognizable to an 18th century English nobleman as it would to a hoverboarding, vest-wearing, time-traveling 21st-century high schooler. Such a definition is a tribute to the form and its endless adaptability.

In another sense, though, a sandwich is an inherently fleeting thing. No matter how standardized the McDonalds, Subways, and Burger Kings of the world may become, or how exacting the French Laundrys, an indelible feature of the culinary arts is that each production is unique, unrepeatable, and subjectively experienced by the diner. No Big Mac is exactly the same as another, just as no two rillettes of poullarde can be identical. I have groused innumerable times at the variability of my Chipotle burrito. Continue reading