Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Club Sandwich

I have decided that the club sandwich of my youth was considered elegant because not only was it triple-deckered (oh my); not only did it have toothpicks with colored cellophane curlies; not only did it's very name conjure up wealth; it was cut on the diagonal twice. We cut at right angles in our clan. People who cut on the diagonal were considered a little, well, showy. Restaurants might do that, trying to impress you, but Scandinavians actively backed away from such display for everyday use. If you went to a friend's house and his mother cut the sandwich on the diagonal, you didn't mention it, but you thought that perhaps they were getting a bit above themselves.
Your grandmother might cut the sandwiches for guests on the diagonal for an Occasion of some sort but for everyday - we weren't that sort of people. Relatives who had moved away might risk it - living in more glamorous places they rather had to - but we didn't.
Even as late as my college days, waiting on tables, I noticed that it was older women of the better sort who ordered the club sandwich


Christopher B said...
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Christopher B said...

I vaugely remember a fad for open-face sandwiches in that late 1960s-early 1970s era. Burger joints were just getting started so maybe the 'better' places wanted to emphasise their food was served on proper plates and required utensils?

I'm pretty sure my Scandinavian mother cut on the diagonal even for family as I still have a notion that a rectangular cut sandwich is a bit off. She was raised in British India, and her foremothers were household help for the English in Galesburg IL (before become farmer's wives) so there probably is something ethnic there.

Of course anything English is going to be viewed as 'upper-crust'in America.

RichardJohnson said...

I never considered club sandwiches to be elegant. In my high school years I worked the counter at the local hippie hangout greasy spoon. They had club sandwiches on the menu. As this was a place that was anything but elegant, all the items on the menu, including club sandwiches, were for me not elegant. However, their grinders, with buns toasted in a 500 degree oven, were quite tasty. Something as plebian as a salami grinder was pretty tasty. Their club sandwiches were also tasty. Just not elegant.

Texan99 said...

I don't think I've ever cut a sandwich. I can't remember ever serving a sandwich to anyone, either, so I've never had to decide whether to cut it in an unusually festive or classy way, or whether to add a little toothpick with tinsel on it. But you know, a club sandwich sounds pretty good right now. Too bad I'm avoiding bread for the time being! If I had an unlimited calorie budget, I'd probably go for a melted Cuban, or, in the absence of special ingredients, just a nice grilled cheese.

talnik said...

My Mom used to cut them horizontally.