National Sandwich Day

November 2nd, 2018 by

You know those awkward, eye-roll inducing “ice-breaker” activities instructors and teachers use before their classes? I have an exercise people may actually warm to. Ask them what their favorite sandwich is. Being perpetually hungry and obsessed with food in general, I often ask this question. National Sandwich Day is November 3rd and it’s a great opportunity to get to know people in a new, more intimate way. You can learn everything you need to know about someone from their response. Some go simple. A grilled cheese or a turkey and swiss. Those people are generally laid back, uncomplicated, purists. Chicken Parm? You lead with your heart. Peanut butter and jelly with trimmed crusts? You’re type A.  If the Gobbler is your favorite, you are a full-fledged psychopath. Just kidding! You’re a person after my own heart.

 

The Gobbler, aka the Pilgrim, aka the Puritan, has an endless number of stage names and variations that revolve around the same concept- pile all your Thanksgiving leftovers on a sandwich and chow down like your life depends on it. It’s not dainty, and it’s not something you eat on a first date. It’s an amalgam of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, maybe even mashed potatoes and a whole lot of shameless savagery. This ultra-loaded, juicy, sweet, salty combo may actually put the integrity of Thanksgiving dinner in question. Ask around. A lot of people love Thanksgiving dinner even more in its reincarnation the following day, or what I like to call “Second Dinner.”

This seasonal treat has gone from an exotic novelty to a fall staple, but it is no spring chicken (spring turkey?). I first learned about the crazy combo twenty years ago on a summer trip to Cape Cod. We celebrated our arrival at a little deli that served “The Pilgrim” piled high on fresh bread year-round. This version included muenster cheese and lettuce and could be served in wrap form upon request. I ordered mine on fresh sourdough and was presented with a full loaf of bread busting at the seams with sweet and salty goodness. Cape Cod and other areas of Southeastern Massachusetts claim ownership of this gem which is served year-round at deli’s and restaurants. After all, the oldest town on Cape Cod is the aptly named Sandwich, Massachusetts.

The first known recipe emerged in the 1950’s although the dish was likely around undocumented well before that. The original sandwich was considered a refined treat, eaten with white gloves, and perhaps even a raised pinky. Sandwiches did not transform into a messy Jenga of glorious ingredients until much more recently. Nowadays, we embrace the mess and shovel as many flavorful components as possible into our melty, gooey creations. Table manners have taken a back seat to flavor in the current manifestation of sandwiches, and the Gobbler is a prime example.

If you haven’t tried this dream of a sandwich, please, let National Sandwich Day be your catalyst. We love building our own because we can customize them to perfection. While we usually adopt a “the more the merrier” attitude about food, we don’t use mashed potatoes on ours. The pairing of fresh turkey, a spicy sage stuffing, turkey gravy and thick layer of whole-berry cranberry sauce is too perfect to mess with. Make yours with all your favorite Thanksgiving components and lots of napkins handy. Here’s to the Gobbler and all its sandwich ancestors this holiday season. Now that is something to be thankful for.

 

Try out our favorite fall recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below!

 

Ingredients:

1 white or wheat roll (we used honey wheat for a dash of sweetness)

1 tsp butter

4-5 oz turkey, broken into smaller pieces (this helps ensure turkey in every bite)

1/4 cup sage or cornbread stuffing

4 tbsp cranberry sauce (whole-berry or jellied based on preference)

3 Tbsp gravy

 

Directions:

Cut the roll in half and spread with equal amounts of butter. Place cut side down on a warm grill pan and toast. Remove from heat.

Coat both sides of your roll with cranberry sauce. Add a layer of stuffing and top that with pieces of turkey. Add gravy on top (dripping is encouraged!). Top with the top piece of the roll.

SNACK LIKE YOU MEAN IT!

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