01 | Feb | 10

Richard Johnson

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It was army scientists who first brought us dried egg, freeze-dried coffee and processed cheese. Well, they’ve gone and done it again. With everlasting bread. By lowering its acidity, and by chemically bonding its molecules to water, they have created a loaf (sic) that will stay fresh for up to three years at 26 °C. Our lives will never be the same again. But – thank God – some places are carrying on regardless, like everlasting bread never got invented. And a lot of them are on the streets. Sandwiches are the perfect street food — and a study in creativity, because (and I apologise for sounding like the Sandwich Information Bureau here) there’s no limit to what you can stick between two slices of bread. In Nice, they make the Pan Bagnat; in Paris the croque monsieur; and in New Orleans the Muffaletta and the po-boy. I’ve read about Bedouin tribesmen who make bread from flour, water and salt, which they mix together in an old baby milk tin. They then bake it into a thin pancake, on a car hub-cap straddling the fire, and serve it with meat and rice. My favourite sandwich (this week, anyway) is the Banh Mi. Here it’s made with BBQ pork, by the team from BanhMi11 sandwich from Broadway Market in London. Libby Andrews, a colleague who knows, really rated it. So, for now, let’s call it my ‘Wich Of The Week.