Here in China I am rarely tempted by American Culture but usually succumb on a Friday after shopping at the local French supermarket. Yes friends, I use Subway to buy a sandwich. And I might say they ain’t half bad.
There’s not much can go wrong with a sandwich is there? Two buttered slices, a decent filling and voila a sandwich. Ha, you’re wrong. Buy any veggie sandwich at a motorway services or any garage up and down the UK and that will prove to you how far off track they can go. The choice for vegetarians is limited to cheese, cheese, and er, cheese. These things are over powered with mayonnaise or some other chemical concoction purporting to be mayo. There is often a faded lettuce leaf and a slice of tomato so thin it resembles a sample prepared for a microscope. The offering is usually 99% cheese based; they call it cheese, but it usually tastes like some bland effluent from a cow rendering plant that’s gone hard in the sun. The bread, limpid white polystyrene hardened scum scrapings is enough to make you constipated for a week such is its relationship to that squirty foam that fills cavities in your house.
But at Subway they seem to have got that art of sandwich making right! All hail the American Dream, life, liberty and the pursuit of the perfect sandwich! It all starts with a choice of bread. There are four different types to choose from. Four. In China - where bread is boiled. I chose a parmesan and herb roll. Then there are many exotic fillings to choose from. I had the Veggie delite. Once the filling is selected it’s onto the production line of foodstuffs – Fordism finally harnessed for the benefit of mankind. First cheese, then the bread is slammed into a speed oven to toast. Layers of crisp fresh looking salad creates a soft bed for the tomato, cucumber, onion, green and red pepper, black olives, pickles and jalapenos! What a sandwich, cut in half and bagged for take out. Perfect.
I can’t praise the ingenuity of the Yanks too highly here – oh yes, they may have landed on the moon and I know I’ve been down on them in the past, but it's Christmas and I’ve had a good sandwich and my belly is full. The only problems I can see are the crumbs in the keyboard but I can’t blame them for that – can I?