The Japanese attitude to sando (sandwiches) constantly astonishes me. There seems to be an almost wilful ignorance of the ancient laws of sandwich making. The traditional sandwich structure in Japan is mocked; it`s a fun food to be played with, a relic of a foreign and distant diet.
Sometimes I feel insulted when crusts are brazenly disposed of, or when impostors like pineapple and peach chunks are shoved between the sacred white slices. The sandwich has been part of my life for too long to be comfortable with revolutionary designs.
Not just my life either. In Douglas Adam`s, The Hitchhiker`s Guide to the Galaxy, the only real skill of the main character, Arthur Dent is sandwich making. When his spaceship crashes on another planet, that becomes his job, sandwich-making in an alien village.
Now there`s a career change I could consider.
Today I visited Sandore, a sandwich takeaway 2 minutes up the hill from Mitakadai station. The sandwich maker was on the phone. when I arrived I surveyed the filling choices behind the glass screen: chocolate whip, burdock and potato, vegetable, and fruit. Not a pickle or crust in sight.
I ordered the fruit sando, its peach, pineapple and cream filling was bursting out the bread and pressing against the plastic wrapper. Perhaps I am alone with this idea, but this flaunting presentation seems like sandwich porn, the filling stuffed in a push-up bra.
Opening the wrapper revealed an inch of fruit and cream on one side of the sando, and nothing at all at the other end. All Japanese sandos are lopsided like this – it`s the new tradition.
As for the sandwich itself, it was absolutely delicious. I am converted; I will go again. I did feel about 9 years old, but that`s no bad feeling.