I saw this website and thought it was sort of interesting. Kelly Pratt is an artist/designer in Chicago with a love of sandwiches. She believes making a good sandwich is an art form – a belief I agree with – and she has started a project called Stately Sandwiches where she’s going to create a sandwich for each of the nation’s 50 sandwiches. While Kelly is not actually visiting each state for her inspiration, she does check with local sandwich shops and conducts internet research.
As a sandwich lover the idea sounds like a lot of fun but I don’t see much originality in her sandwich recipes. Of the 12 Stately Sandwiches she’s made so far, they all seem like simple traditional sandwiches with the state’s name added. For example, a Reuben sandwich becomes a New York Reuben. An Italian Beef sandwich is an Illinois Italian beef and a pulled pork sandwich is a North Carolina Pulled Pork sandwich. Worse, the website is a little confusing because some state sandwich links take you to original recipes in local websites/blogs and some state sandwich links take you to different recipes and photos of her and her friends making and enjoying the sandwiches. While the recipes were uninspiring the photo essays were very enjoyable.
The Minnesota sandwich isn’t too difficult to guess. We’re the land of 10,000 lakes here and what swims in lakes? You got it; fish. And not just any fish, but walleye. I’m not a big fan of fish in any form and there was nothing about the Minnesota Fried Walleye sandwich recipe (fried walleye, lettuce, tomato, lemon, tartar sauce, bun) that will change my mind anytime soon.
Ms. Pratt’s project is interesting and the photos are fun and if I thought the recipes lacked some originality and punch, well, everyone’s taste is different. But the thing that bothered me the most about the project was that while Kelly Pratt believes making a good sandwich is an art form; I didn’t see anything art-worthy about any of the sandwiches.
You want art? Show me a cream cheese, hot dog, peanut butter and American cheese sandwich and I’ll show you art. Show me a potato chip, mayonnaise, green olive and cheddar cheese sandwich and I’ll show you art. Show me a peanut butter, mayonnaise, tomato and lettuce sandwich and I’ll show you art. Show me a sweet pickle, peanut butter, black olive and American cheese sandwich and I’ll show you art. Show me a grilled tuna sandwich with capers, fried onions, mayonnaise, peanut butter and American cheese and . . . well, you get the idea so I’ll stop there! So while there is art involved in making a good sandwich, a Virginia Ham Biscuit sandwich (ham on a dry biscuit) isn’t an example.
Now stop reading and go make a sandwich. My suggestion: French fries, minced garlic, mayonnaise, dill, green olives and cheese. Or wait, maybe a fried egg, fried onions, peanut butter, capers and cheese sandwich. Or wait . . .