It has been 2 months since we began management of the Deli. We have eaten more sandwiches during his period than possibly all the previous years combined. Born and raise in Vietnam, rice is our staple. We are surprised at how the sandwich has grown on us. Like wine that begins to taste sweet or coffee that loses it bitter taste, only after multiple and repeated tries. One soon enjoys it and craves it.
So, it came to our mind as to what is the essence of a sandwich? Naturally, we thought of ingredients: baked aromatic bread, fresh and crunchy vegetables, smooth avocados, fine cuts of pastrami, roast beef, turkey, or salami, a stain of mustard, a whisk of mayo, and oodles of cheese. Why yes, this must be the answer.
That is until we began to observe customers enjoying sandwiches in the commons and patio. In pairs, they nibble and have furtive discussions. In groups, they bellow and banter while voraciously downing their victuals. Alone, oh, those alone aren't alone. They are lost in discourse with their iPhones and tablets.
The essence of a sandwich is then the feeling that it confers, the enjoyment that it provides, the facilitation of human bonding. Without it, we might just as well sit across from each other; four eyes staring not uttering a word.