A French Ham Sandwich
I recently was about to take a road trip with some friends when we stopped in a deli for some sandwiches to bring along. The orders were turkey, roast beef, Swiss cheese, etc. Everyone asked for mayo on their sandwiches except me. I got mustard. When I was growing up in New York the delis were either Italian or Jewish and the only choices for your sandwich was either mustard or no mustard. Mayo wasn’t even offered. I still prefer mustard and wouldn’t consider mayo. I guess it all depends on what you’re used to.
I used to live near a great German restaurant called the Bavarian Inn. The kitchen closed at 11pm but they made sandwiches until 1am. No matter what sandwich you ordered, the bread was buttered. If you wanted mustard, you got that too. So, it’s mustard for Italian and Jewish sandwiches and the addition of butter on the German ones. Now let’s get to French sandwiches. I recently read an article by Florence Fabricant. It was all about a classic French sandwich consisting of ham on a buttered baguette- jambon beurre.
Reading about it made me hungry and reminded me of my Bavarian Inn sandwiches, so I tried a French ham sandwich. Just ham, baguette and butter, no mustard or anything else, and it was terrific.
The Florence Fabricant article is The Proustian Ideal of a Ham Sandwich. You can read it here.