The cookbook in question is The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches: Recipes, History, and Trivia for Everything Between Sliced Bread, by Susan Russo. In addition to being a freelance food writer and cookbook author, Susan can also be found at her popular blog, Food Blogga. The book was published by Quirk Books and distributed by Random House. It was styled by Adam C. Pearson, and photographed by Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites.
Do you use a bread box? If so, I would seriously consider keeping this "smaller than a breadbox" treasure right inside for quick reference. With more than 100 recipes provided, from breakfasts to desserts, you will be referring to it frequently! Aside from the "bonus" of listing variations of most recipes, Susan provides recipes for many of the accompaniments as well.
When I first saw Susan's post announcing the April 5 release date and mentioning that Quirk was looking for bloggers interested in reviewing the book, I jumped at the chance. Not having done any reviews yet, I looked at it as a way to diversify my blog posts. The irony is that with so much at our fingertips on the Internet nowadays, I can't tell you the last time I purchased a cookbook. My logic has been that with pretty much every recipe known to man on the Internet already, why pay for a cookbook? The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches has me seriously rethinking that. I would have to equate the experience to reading a novel while watching Jeopardy and planning what I'll be making for dinner. There were stories and trivia and photos galore! It was not only interesting and entertaining, but educational.
One of my pet peeves with cookbooks is that many contain limited (or even worse, zero) photographs. If I'm making a recipe for the first time, I would like to know what the end product is supposed to look like. Yet, here we have a book about sandwiches (I'm fairly certain we can all approximate what they should look like assembled), and every last one is beautifully styled and photographed. Because of the size of the book, some of the pictured items appear to be "actual size," making you want to take a bite. Hmmm, maybe the second printing should be scratch and sniff??
I was very excited when it arrived. I closed myself in my room armed with a cup of coffee and pad of sticky notes. I didn't make it past the intro before I started tagging pages! The book sports an Ingredient Index at the front and a Sandwich Index and Conversion Chart at the back. I knew it was going to be interesting when I came across items on the Ingredient Index that I had never heard of ... Kummelweck Rolls, Telera Rolls, Bresaola, etc. Even the detail of turning the slip sheets between sections into slices of toast and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches was a clever touch.
As you can see, I got a little carried away. These sticky notes are not marking the pages of recipes I want to try (because I want to try them all ... well, not the seafood ones), but rather interesting tidbits, things I want to learn more about, or things that sparked an idea for me.
Each of the recipes is prefaced by a paragraph or two relating snippets about the origin of that particular sandwich, how it was introduced to this country, different twists put on it by various regions, etc. From the sandwich favored by one well-known cartoon character (the Dagwood) to that preferred by the King of Rock and Roll (the Elvis), The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches offers something for everyone.
I did have one bone to pick. Susan chose to include the Bologna Sandwich. That's fine, but it reallllly would have been better suited for the back of the book. She mentioned the famed jingle along with the recipe, so as I was trying to push forward (past p. 23), all I could think was "My bologna has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R ..." ;)
Mother's Day is right around the corner. Even setting the recipes aside, this books makes a great read and would be the perfect little something for Mom, so pick up your copy(ies) today!
Become a follower of Hye Thyme Cafe Like Hye Thyme Cafe on Facebook Post about this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter For fun, as another entry, you can leave the recipe for your favorite sandwich. Mine is a Smokey Joe - honey mustard on pumpernickel with very thin sliced red onion and smoked turkey, muenster cheese, and lettuce (or sprouts).
Winner selected per comment below - PAMELA - Congrats!! :)