Sunday, January 3, 2010

Artifacts of our Childhood: Toasted baloney sammiches

I'm not sure how much of an impact the Rugrats franchise had on me personally, but I was crazy about it for a while. My favorite parts were always the fantasy sequences, when the characters would use their imaginations and go on trippy adventures.

But the biggest impact it had on my life came from this single moment in The Rugrats Movie.

While the babies are wandering around lost in the forest, Chuckie mentions some of the things that he misses from his home- including something his dad made for him: Toasted baloney "sammiches".
The way he described it made it sound absolutely delicious- "Mmmm, and they're so crunchy..." he says, to which Tommy responds, "Stop it, Chuckie! You're makin' me hungry!"

Ever since then, we both have been toasting our bread when we make sandwiches. Of course, it was only baloney and mayonnaise on white bread at first, but I'm telling you: we have toasted EVERY SINGLE SANDWICH we have ever eaten since then. I've only had it untoasted once or twice, and for reasons I can't quite recall- I think it was because I didn't have a choice. Of course, I'm not including sandwiches we've ordered at restaurants- I'm only referring to sandwiches we've made at home.
Thing is is that we've come to prefer it crunchy, as opposed to chewy when the bread is in an unaltered state. I dunno, it seems to be more "bread-like" when its toasted- it's like the slight charring brings out its flavor. Of course, we've gone beyond white bread (although it's still one of our favorites), and now we use buttermilk bread, potato bread, and sourdough, and we use so many different condiments, spreads, cheeses, deli meats and whatnot that I don't really have a favorite kind.
In recent years I've taken a liking to sweet and savory combinations, so mixing jellies and jams with meat has become something we enjoy. It seems to open a whole new world of options, having little hindrances of what we put on a sandwich anymore.

So when I eat a toasted sandwich, every now and then I think of how a single moment in a movie I haven't watched in years made a huge change in my taste for food. Normally these sort of things inspire me artistically or even spiritually, but in this case it's gastronomically.

UPDATE: So after a visit to my Grandma's house, and not wanting to use a toaster oven that was hard to reach, I've developed a taste for untoasted sandwiches with white bread. Go figure...

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