Posted by Leo Tarvi
Describe the perfect sandwich. You have up to $5,000 to spend. Be creative.
Impossible. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend or how creative you get, there is no perfect sandwich. Perhaps you could meaningfully discuss the perfect Reuben sandwich, or the perfect grilled cheese, or some other very specific example of the rich variety of sandwiches human ingenuity has created, but even that would be a sort of platonic ideal: something to keep in mind as you make a sandwich and choose to follow or deviate from this ideal recipe, an ideal that becomes increasingly unrealistic, small-minded and disappointing as you expand your sandwich world. To speak of a perfect sandwich across all of sandwich-kind? The concept is meaningless.
Any quality you might list as a part of the perfect sandwich implies that sandwiches without are inferior, further from perfection. And yet a vegetarian burger built around portabello mushrooms can be every bit as tasty and satisfying as a grilled hot pastrami & swiss on rye.
The joy and beauty in sandwiches is in the infinite diversity and combinations of qualities. Each is unique, and while you occasionally find one that seems less than the rest, most are delicious.
I’m going to go raid the kitchen now.