Book Review: “A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches”, by Tyler Kord

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First of all, let me apologize profusely for ever letting this blog lapse. Was my last post really November, 2014? ACK! What was I thinking?

Life has taken some interesting turns lately, and though I’ve personally been through some ‘stuff’, it doesn’t compare to what the great citizens of these United States are going through. Every. Single. Day.

I don’t know about you, but for me, the upside of going through ‘stuff’ is that it usually provides some much-needed clarity.  That’s why one thing is now crystal clear:

Now, more than ever, we need sandwiches. Many, many, many sandwiches.

With that in mind, I wanted to kick off the new and hopefully improved blog with something a little different: a book review. Yay, reading! It never lets me down.

A few months ago, I devoured (guys, see what I did there?) Tyler Kord’s , A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches. Although the book does include many painstakingly detailed recipes, it offers way more than a traditional cookbook. It’s also hilarious and thought-provoking.

Kord’s witty, insightful, and strong opinions about what constitutes a quality sandwich, among other things, is fascinating reading. His obsession with adventurous flavor and texture combinations, as well as over-the-top, quirky sandwich ingredients (homemade Canadian Bacon, lychees), are mouth-watering and sometimes, just a little out there. I can’t see myself ordering a sandwich with pickled blueberries or Fritos, but I’m really happy that they exist.

The artistic, next-level creations are as unique as their names. When did you last enjoy a Chutzpah Express (roast beef, pickled mushroom, Chinese mustard), or my favorite, Famous Rap Battles of History? You don’t even need to know what’s on that one to enjoy it.

While the author’s writing style is charming and a maybe even a bit neurotic, the book also gives a rare glimpse into some of the joys and challenges of running and owning a restaurant for a modern day chef.

Kord is the co-owner and chef of No. 7 Sub sandwich shops in New York, which makes him more than qualified to share his thoughts on things like pricing, sustainable practices, and why some things–in particular, the realities of shrimp production–are indeed, pretty upsetting.

The recipes in the book piqued my interest, but since I’m far too lazy to make my own grape jelly or smoke my own mayonnaise, I probably won’t even attempt them, but I’m pretty sure I will consult the helpful graphic: “Sandwich Construction: Theory & A Chart” the next time I’m in the kitchen.

I’d also be thrilled to visit the source of these creations the next time I’m in NYC.

Available from amazing independent bookstores like Elliott Bay Books and Amazon

 

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