Sandwich Sunday: The Adam
There are a few things I am truly proud of in my life. Being named Sports Editor of a major university newspaper is right up there, as is my academic performance in college to date. But of all the of my accomplishments in life, I think the thing I am most proud of in my 21 years of existence is the recent bestowing of my namesake to a sandwich at the Utah State University dining hall. Yes friends; I give you, the “Adam.”
What began as a dream and a quirky obsession that caught the collective eyes and interests of the staff at “The Junction” (one of two on-campus dining halls at Utah State) is now a reality which can be enjoyed by students all over Logan, Utah. A panini that balances elements of sweetness, saltiness, lightness and richness, the “Adam” is, if I may be so bold, an improvement over the standard cheddar cheese/mayo/water added ham/mayo combinations so many of the students here have grown accustomed to. It’s not that they aren’t willing to test the boundaries of sandwich construction and balance, but rather that the constraints of a relatively isolated northern Utah Geography have left their culinary horizons about as far reaching as a ruler. This is obvious a rather depressing proposition for someone like myself, who has come to the rescue with a sandwich that was a long time in the works. The “Adam,” since its inception, has undergone several changes, including a change in cheese.
As it’s listed above, the “Adam” includes American cheese. Yet the kind of American cheese my dining hall uses – while bringing that in-your-face saltiness that compliments the sweet-tart taste of the cranberries – fails to melt well in the panini machine. At first I and my two usual sandwich artists, Jeannie and Haily (both of whom rock) attempted to switch to Swiss cheese, but we found that it lacked the saltiness and meltability we were looking for. Monterrey jack was never an option with its southwestern flavor profile, and while cheddar might seem a likely addition, I find its taste too assertive. That left us with only one option; provolone.
Provolone was a good bet. A semi-skimmed cheese, its higher water content is conducive to melting in a panini press, and its mellow flavor works well with tomato and spinach. While the saltiness is moderate, it allows the hearty whole grain bread and sweet roast beef and cranberries to shine, while at the same time adding an essential element of goo to the texture.
A recent snapshot of Jeannie’s handwork demonstrates this perfectly.
OK, so I want to here from you, Grubbers. Do you have a food item named after you? If not, what would your “Your name” menu item/sandwich consist of? And most importantly, did your college dining hall ever have anything as awesome as “The Adam”?