Often the simplest things are the best and this lunch is simple. You do need a few essential summertime staples. In this case you will need hamburger buns, salami and/or ham, American cheese, and either orange or grape soda. Garnish with Fritos corn chips.
First the hamburger buns. Don’t be suckered into buying fancy bakery type buns that are common today. You want the stuff that was made hundreds of miles away and delivered in a big truck. Look for brands like Wonder or Taystee. They absolutely must be WHITE hamburger buns. Don’t be tempted by buns with ingredients like “whole wheat” or “honey.” You want plain white buns promising to be “classic” or “family choice,” stuff like that.
If for some reason you find yourself without hamburger buns, first swear that you will never allow that to happen again. Then substitute soft white bread. None of this fancy health nut stuff. You have plenty of time for that. Traditional white hamburger buns have a sweet flavor that you want and need for this sandwich. Classic white sandwich bread should have the same characteristics…or it isn’t classic. (Think Beaver Cleaver…what would he eat?)
Second, choose your salami and ham carefully. I sway from the more traditional roots of this lunch here. I prefer buying ALL of my meat from non-industrial sources. You should too. So pre-packaged ham and salami is a no-no. Try to find something locally sourced and made. It can be done. And when buying ham and salami the price difference is small if you shop for basic ham and salami.
Plus…when building the classic summer salami sandwich, you only use a couple thin slices of salami anyway. I come from a large family. Mom prudently allocated three slices — no more — per sandwich and I turned out just fine. (And thin and fit too.) There was a time when Dagwood-styled sandwiches were a joke, not an expectation. Resist the trend that says more is better. It isn’t. And you might live longer.
Next…the cheese. You want the stuff that really isn’t cheese and is just barely food. Buy the pre-packaged American cheese. It isn’t good for you — empty calories, indeed — but it tastes best on this 1970’s era classic and your summer sandwich should be a treat, not a way of life. You do have to be a bit fussy, however, some generic brands taste absolutely horrible and there is no point in that. In Minnesota I stick with Crystal Farms and Kraft.
(Note…it is perfectly acceptable to substitute Velveeta slices.)
Finally…lay off the condiments. Mom never used them, you shouldn’t either. And if you insisted she used mustard on the ham sandwich and mayonnaise on the salami sandwich. Stick to that rule and just barely wet the bun with either condiment.
Stick to these basic ingredients and you’re set.
Making these sandwiches is a breeze. Even a kid can do it. Put your couple slices of lunch meet and one slice of American cheese between the buns and enjoy! No cooking, no cooling, no mess. Garnish with corn chips (allowed for this meal) and wash it down with a orange or grape soda (preferably one made with cane sugar) and float back to Seals and Crofts‘ and Summer Breeze!
- Grilled Cheese All Grown Up, by Stephanie Hua by Guest Blogger (winemag.com)
- 28-Lb Sandwich Is World’s Meatiest (Most Kinds Of Meat) (geekologie.com)
- One of America’s Favorites – the HamBurger (beatcancer2010.wordpress.com)