Friday Q&A, Wednesday edition pt. 2: Food stuff

Dark meat and it’s not even close. The myth of white-meat superiority in poultry is one of our nation’s most persistent, but I’m fine with people perpetuating it as long as it means more (and less expensive) dark meat for distinguishing carnivores. Dark meat is moister and tastier. And as an added bonus, turkey legs are the obvious best for eating with your hands like you’re Genghis Khan in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Well, it’s all about proportions and structure, and you sort of need to eyeball it as best you can and trust your instincts because everyone’s working with a slightly different arsenal of ingredients. Heartier breads and rolls are obviously going to be better for holding the sandwich together, but using them means you’re going to want to go easy on the stuffing — an integral element of the leftover sandwich.

I will say this: Turkey — especially white-meat turkey — can be pretty dry, and cranberry sauce packs a very powerful flavor. You’re going to need some condiments to moisten up that turkey, and it’s going to be tempting to just slather on enough cranberry sauce to do the whole job. But unless you want to eat a sandwich that just tastes like cranberry sauce, you’re making a mistake. I’d probably use mayo on one side of the bread and cranberry sauce on the other, to keep things moist but moderate the cranberry flavor.

It’s very flattering. Same thing any time I get an email from a reader who has just enjoyed a sandwich somewhere.

Part of the appeal of sandwiches, I think, is that they’re practically universal. So many people eat sandwiches. Many of us have eaten, in our lives, a ton of sandwiches. Nearly every culture has its own version of protein wrapped in starch. They’re often inexpensive, they’re (at their best) unpretentious, and in many cases they can be eaten almost anywhere.

When someone is excited after eating a delicious sandwich, he could email just about anybody he knows to tip them off and elicit some sort of response. Think about it: Say you got a random, unsolicited email from a former colleague at an old job that you hadn’t spoken to in years, and the subject line said, “great sandwich!” You’d open that email, right? And even though you might think it weird that he thought to share the details of his great sandwich with you of all people, you’d ultimately be pretty happy that he did because now you know about it and who doesn’t want more great sandwiches on their radars?

So every time someone emails me with a sandwich tip or asks for my opinion about sandwich construction, it feels pretty great. Thanks for choosing me as a source of sandwich information or as a comrade in sandwich passion. I mean it.

You know? It’s a novel idea but your question suggests you know the reason why it doesn’t exist: I don’t think turkey presents enough value over chicken to make it worth dealing with on a more regular basis. Turkeys are huge and cooking them is a pain. What’re you getting in a turkey taco that you can’t get in a chicken taco? Slight turkey flavor. Not worth the trouble, I don’t think.

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