Alright, I know it's only January, but this one tasted like March. You know what I mean? You know how some days, it just smells like spring? Well, in Canada, we have March break, where schools have a few weeks off in March, and like all the other jew kids, I always spent mine in Florida. Visiting the grandparents, if that wasn't clearly implied (and if you were wondering, I don't consider myself a jew, but for the hair, and various Seinfeld references the goyims don't get). ANYWAY. This sandwich, to me, tasted like Florida.
Florida was a good time. I usually look back on it with contempt, but this isn't the time or place to knock Florida, which by the way, despite its 'Floridaness,' is truly an interesting, and magical place. So I'll just say that it holds a special place in my heart as kind of the school of LIFE, when I was on break from my nice suburban one, where all the kids played nicely with eachother, and nobody watched Fox "News." Really though. I do have extremely fond memories of Florida. Even one of my best friends is from Florida, and she would surely have as many damning, as praising things to say about it.
But aside from how socially and politically eye opening a grocery run to Publix was, southern Florida, like any big multicultural metropolitan area, is full of crazy great food! Over time, I thought of our trips to Florida more and more as really a food tour, killing time playing pool with my brother between meals. We collected too many favourite restaurant spots, and home cooked meals on the to-do list to get through. And though I was never big on it, we got to eat American sugary breakfast cereals. But the point is, Florida was a big education for me, in terms of food. When you grow up in one place, you think what you eat is basically what everyone eats. As a kid, you don't realize how localized your palette is until you go elsewhere, and see that even in this other, tiny place on earth, where everyone is also speaking English, everything tastes new and different. And notwithstanding what a picky eater I was, this was SO exciting. There were just so many cultural influences I wasn't getting in Toronto. I really loved cuban food. And there were just these vague "southern" influences that seemed like food I was acquainted with, but I totally wasn't. And for that, Florida, and the Ft Lauderdale/Miami area, I don't hate you. I don't really know what I was trying to do with this sandwich, but it filled me with a deep, tasty nostalgia.
Here's what's in it:
bread of your choice (white bean and grapeskin flour gluten free)
pan fried organic chicken thigh
grated raw cheddar
green tomato chow (the real hero in this story)
Alright, spread the condiments. I just mix my mayo with whatever loose spice I'm using. To taste. Green tomato chow. I don't know what this is really, and what it's all about. I'm not particularly versed in pickled things, but this is just insanely good, has so much zing, it's like the loudest person at the party, but who everyone actually finds really endearing.
Cheese. Always get the good stuff. Eat less of it, but buy the good stuff. This one's another raw cheese. I just think unpasteurized cheeses taste truer, and purer. Whatevs.
Chicken. I did it in the pan in its own fat for a few minutes a side, squeezed lemon juice at the end, and sliced.
Cilantro! Hey what's up my cuban friend? I didn't know about you until way late in life, but let's always be pals.
Grill that bitch in butter until the bread is crispy. Slice, and marvel.
Actually, this sandwich is kind of ugly, but it was honestly, so tasty.
That's all about this one. Could'a maybe used some hot sauce, but the chow really didn't need any help. All I want to do is eat this again. And maybe go to The Kennedy Space Centre with Katie.