by Becky Mercuri
Got a hankering for a Kentucky Hot Brown? A serious need for a Navajo Taco? Craving an authentic Florida Cuban? No matter where you live or what you crave, American Sandwich: Great Eats from All 50 States by Becky Mercuri is the perfect cookbook for every sandwich lover.
This delightfully delicious new book highlights America's obsession with the sandwich, from its humble beginnings to its present day incarnations. John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, is credited with inventing this now ubiquitous fare in the mid-1700s. A notorious gambler, he liked to eat his meat between two pieces of bread so he could keep a hand free for playing cards. Although its namesake, the Earl probably didn't truly create the sandwich; the French claim it was common for travelers and field workers to carry with them fish or meat between two slices of black bread. It is most likely that sandwiches date back to the establishment of permanent settlements in the Middle East, around 9000 BC when grain was first planted and harvested. Technology is largely responsible for the sandwich revolution, though, with the birth of Wonder Bread in 1921, and later, pre-sliced bread in 1930. Later it was the affordability of the automobile that put Americans on the move, thus spawning the drive-in restaurant and the mainstay of the highway—the hamburger.
Today, the sandwich is the king of food in America: Americans eat more than 45 billion sandwiches per year, with the average American consuming 193 sandwiches annually. As a nation of sandwich eaters, we live in the fast lane and we love food that is portable. Naturally, the sandwich is a mainstay of our existence, and most cities and states are identified with a special sandwich indigenous to its area. A region's sandwich says something special about the place and people that originated it, and whether it's a Reuben from New York, a Philly Cheese Steak from Pennsylvania, or a Catfish Po'boy from Mississippi, Becky Mercuri has a recipe for every sandwich imaginable and a location in each region where you can find the real thing. Published in conjunction with the WQED Pittsburgh documentary program "Sandwiches That You Will Like," (produced, written, and narrated by Rick Sebak and aired nationally on PBS affiliates), this collectible book doesn't tout haute cuisine. Instead, it celebrates truly great American sandwiches. From diners to delis to dives, American Sandwich offers 50 fabulous recipes as it takes you on a historic culinary tour of the culture of America's favorite food.
About the Author
Becky Mercuri has been a contributing editor for "Cookbook Collectors Exchange," a nationally distributed newsletter, for seven years. She was also the editor of a popular food and travel column for the Wellsville Daily Reporter in western New York. An accomplished cook who has gathered recipes throughout the world, Becky is an avid student of culinary history, a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and a well-respected food and travel writer based in New York State.
Great Eats from All 50 States
by Becky Mercuri
Gibbs Smith, Publisher
$12.95/Paperback with Flaps
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created January 2005
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