Susan Russo's The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches Is Worth a Bite or Two

Categories: First Taste
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Allow us to posit a theory.

You're a fan of sandwiches.

No, we're not clairvoyant. What we are is intimately aware of the delicious potential inherit in placing various fillings between two pieces of bread. So too is Susan Russo, a writer for NPR's Kitchen Window, food blogger, and author of Recipes Every Man Should Know. Russo's latest venture is a love letter to the humble sandwich aptly titled The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches.

Russo's book captured our sammy-loving hearts when the first page featured the most notable sandwich quote there is; "Enjoy Every Sandwich" as spoken by Warren Zevon shortly before the fatal end to his battle with lung cancer. What follows is like crack to our inner foodies. Gorgeous images of luscious sandwiches fill these pages with triple decker Dagwoods and sinfully decadent Pulled Pork sandwiches.

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Matt Armendariz
Pulled Pork Sandwich from The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches.
When we could tear our eyes away from the images long enough to get down to some reading (and maybe make a sandwich or two) we discovered that Russo's encyclopedia doesn't skimp on entries. All the classic sandwiches are here from your Banh Mi and BLT to the cheese-filled Jucy Lucy hamburger and Torta.

While we liked the photography and found the recipes brilliantly expressed with sandwich variations included, it was the lack of substance that leaves this Encyclopedia a little underwhelming. Don't get us wrong, there are a ton of entries and sandwich types here, but ultimate satisfaction lies (like most things) with the details. We would gladly sink our teeth into a an essay on bread types and which to employ when. We would be enthralled to know about the history of deli meats and how they continue to influence sandwich construction presently. And for the love of all that is holy, will a food writer please get to the bottom of why grocery stores insist on putting soggy tomatoes on their pre-packaged sandwiches?

Perhaps that is for another encyclopedia. Now if you'll excuse me, it's lunch time.


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