There’s a lot of comfort in a good sandwich. I follow this subreddit, r/grilledcheese, where people post pictures of grilled cheese sandwiches they’ve made at home – and it never fails to bring a smile to my face when I see one. I think the ingenuinity of it comes from the creativity in picking out a type of bread and a mix of cheeses to get a result that leaves you happy – and the fact that there are so many combinations that are possible, with that limited set of ingredients. It’s always joyful to see. Another subreddit I enjoy is r/sandwiches. The art of constructing a sandwich isn’t one that I want to delve into too much detail on, but it’s something I truly admire. It’s a skill I’ve been trying to master for years.
My mum made me a snackbox to eat during “break”time in school when I was in primary school in Dubai. Sometimes, she made me these cucumber sandwiches I loved, which used to make my day really frequently. We also had a really nice sandwich maker at home, a maker that essentially created these triangular sandwiches that were closed pockets filled with some great surprises: because I couldn’t see into it till I had taken a bite. My favourite one was a cheese-sweetcorn mix. Sandwiches eventually evolved into the unhealthy really quick: I grew into nutella and peanut butter and eating those with a passion, and excess filling on any sandwiches.
For a while though, the sandwich moved away from my primary staple comfort food for snacking. A large part of this was some drive to become healthier: by trying to eat ragi, or fruits, or something else apart from bread. Another part of this stemmed from trying to ensure some amount of diversity among my snacks in life.
That was until, very kindly, all of us began ditching our snackboxes to dine on the chutney cheese sandwiches another friend of mine got daily for his dabba. It was almost like aunty began packing extra sandwiches for him because she knew two of us would be eating one of them. They were perfect. So perfect, that on a trip to Pondicherry, aunty made us a loaf of chutney cheese sandwiches to take with us for the entire car ride. They were the first snacks we consumed (read: demolished).
Moving to University, the cheese sandwich remained a staple in my diet. I put this down to the fact that we’ve got a separate counter for the cheese sandwich on our campus, and also the fact that its the one food that you’re able to chomp down on the way to class.
In Bangalore, I really enjoy frequenting a sandwich shop. I know it sounds absurd: visiting a shop that basically puts bread slices together and some fillings to boot, but this place makes the most incredible sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. I’ve always visited this place with one of my closest school mates. Today, I visited it with one of my University seniors. Although the company was different, the bread and its contents tasted unchanged.
I intended this to be an ode to sandwiches, and the delight of eating them. Instead, now, I’ve been distracted to the extent that I’ve forgotten what I was writing on about and the emotion I wanted to capture. Now, I’m craving a cheese sandwich.
That tells you enough about the power of bread, I think.