FW: Becky Mercuri's book(s) on sandwiches

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at UMR.EDU
Sun Jan 9 18:51:59 UTC 2005

In a 12.28/2004 ads-l message I asked if Rebecca Mercuri could tell us about her recent book on sandwiches; In particular, might some of its information be of interest to ads-l?

    Below my signoff is a message she sent me today.

Gerald Cohen

                                    * * * * *
Mr. Cohen, thank you so much for your inquiry. I apologize for the delayed response.

My latest book, American Sandwich, was released in November 2004 by Gibbs Smith, Publisher. It's a follow-on book, requested by the publisher, as a result of my work Sandwiches That You Will Like, the sandwich history and cookbook written as a companion to the PBS show of the same name. Both books feature many famous American sandwiches as well as references to the origins of the names of those sandwiches. Much of the information I presented was due, in no small part, to the work of Barry Popik, and he is prominently acknowledged in my book.

As I also state in the book, until relatively recently, little information on food history and American foodways was recorded - at least to the extent many of us who write about food would like to see. Barry's research has uncovered an enormous amount of new information, and I have no doubt that Barry and others will find even more information as new resources are made available and more easily accessible. Meanwhile, many of the old urban legends about the creation of particular sandwiches have been debunked or clarified.

Although I present many new sandwiches created by innovative cooks, chefs, and sandwich shop proprietors across the country, I've included numerous old favorites that have a rich history behind them. Unfortunately, the number of sandwiches presented was not all-inclusive due to space limitations. I did my best to include the latest information available right up to my deadline. In many cases, I think you'll find leads for further research, and I have no doubt that Barry and others will find much more data as resources expand.

The following is a rather long list of sandwiches that have interesting histories behind them - I'm hoping that further information will come to light as more people become interested in the rich history behind American foodways. It must be noted that in many cases, there is still no definitive information on the origin of the sandwich (or it's major ingredient), the year in which it was introduced, or there is still more than claim or one theory about that origin. Others seems to be well defined.

Navajo Tacos (Southwest)
French Dip (California)
Denver (Western) Sandwich
Cobb Salad (and Sandwich)
Cuban Sandwich (Florida)
Pimiento Cheese (Sandwich)
Chicago Italian Beef
Midwestern Pork Tenderloin
Loosemeat Sandwich (Midwest)
The Hot Brown (KY)
Muffaletta (New Orleans)
Lobster Roll (New England)
Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham
Bahn Mi
Michigan Pasties
St. Paul Sandwich (from St. Louis, MO)
Cheese (or Tuna) Frenchie (Nebraska)
New Jersey "Taylor Ham"
Fleischkuechle (North Dakota) (different than the krautranzen of NE and bierocks of KS)
Philly Cheese Steak
Shrimp Burgers (those in SC vary greatly from those in NC)
Chicken Fried Steak (Sandwich)
Pepperoni Rolls (West Virginia)
Sheboygan Brats (Wisconsin)

Thank you again for your interest.

Becky Mercuri

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