SMORGASBORD: 'Encyclopedia of Sandwiches' . . . Colorful pricing . . . Pop-Tart cookies?
'Encyclopedia of Sandwiches' The humble sandwich has a history as lively as its makings and is defined only by the limits of the human imagination. Susan Russo's "The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches" (Quirk Books, $18.95) can be viewed as just a cookb...
'Encyclopedia of Sandwiches'
The humble sandwich has a history as lively as its makings and is defined only by the limits of the human imagination.
Susan Russo's "The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches" (Quirk Books, $18.95) can be viewed as just a cookbook, but it can also be enjoyed as a thought-provoking history lesson. And your mouth will water at the photographs by Matt Armendariz.
The term "sandwich" dates to the 1760s, when the British Earl of Sandwich first demanded a snack of putting meat between two slices of bread and ate it then and there. He probably wasn't the first human to come up with the idea but generally is credited with popularizing the term.
The trend spread to America. In the 1830s, a cookbook came out with a recipe for a ham sandwich. The concept had obviously blossomed, since other fillings such as sardines, cheese, nuts and jelly also were listed.
Every ethnic group that came to America brought a new quirk to the humble sandwich. Liverwurst from Germany, Cubano from Cuba, Caprese from Italy.
There are trends in sandwiches. The sandwich loaf of stacked bread slices with layers of garnishes and then frosted like a cake with unsweetened cream cheese was popular in the 1950s but by the 1970s was scarcely seen.
Like everyone else in the frozen-vegetables business, Green Giant has a line of frozen vegetables in steamer bags. The Valley Fresh Steamers offerings include several vegetable mixtures.
And now, there are four Valley Fresh Steamers mixtures called Healthy Colors, each containing three or more vegetables of different colors: Market Blend (carrots, zucchini, tomatoes and yellow bell peppers), Farmer's Blend (cauliflower, snap peas, carrots and cranberries), Nature's Blend (carrots, yellow carrots, green beans and red bell peppers) and Valley Blend (broccoli, carrots and golden cauliflower). The bags of Farmer's Blend advise "A colorful variety of vegetables provides a broad range of nutrients."
The other Green Giant Steamers come in 12-ounce bags. The Healthy Colors varieties, sold for the same price, are in 11-ounce bags.
There's always a new flavor of Kellogg's Pop-Tarts, but now there's an entirely different item with the Pop-Tarts name: Pop-Tarts Mini Crisps, described on the box as "tasty baked bites."
Whereas a box of eight Pop-Tarts (each weighing about 1.75 ounces, depending on variety) costs $2.39 at one store -- that's 30 cents each -- the box of only six pouches of Pop-Tart Mini Crisps (each weighing 0.81 ounces -- less than half as much as a Pop-Tart) costs $3.25 at that store -- 54 cents each.