Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Book Review: Sandwich A Global History

Sandwich, A Global History is part of the Edible series of books on food and drink culture published by Reaktion Books.  This volume is written by Bee Wilson who authored a book on Honeybees. I am not making this up.   

The first three sections are Introduction, The History of the Sandwich and Constructing the Sandwich.  These were interesting and covered a lot of familiar ground along with introducing a few choice bits.  With a volume this slim, it can be hard to get any depth with a subject but there is some provocative moments in these opening sections. The latter sections seem to be a bit more like lists of global sandwiches and people who eat them.  These lack the introspective punch of the first sections.  This is a quibble and not a real problem, as it may be based on my exposure to sandwiches.  Remember this blog is a companion to an eventual sandwich business.

Fortunately, there is more than enough in the rest of the book to keep it interesting, entertaining and worth the short read of 127 pages.  The Recipes section has a few Historical Sandwiches which I did not know existed; green fig and almond, aspargus rolls and pate and pear.  These are definitely on the list for an upcoming tea party that my wife is hosting.

There are some gems to be found in the literary and cultural references.  Maybe I can get my kids to understand the joy in the simple tomato sandwich by appealing to their love of Enid Blyton's Famous Five or referencing Scooby's love of sandwiches.  There is so much trivia and good thinking in this book that I am looking forward to reading more in the series.

It was well worth my time to read it once and already I have gone back several times.  Hell, I may have to buy it.

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