I remember once coming back to London for a holiday visit from São Paulo and being enthralled watching everybody stuffing a sandwich in their face and chasing it down with a bag of crisps between the hours of 12 & 2. Mesmerising. I don’t think the sandwich is quite so popular anywhere else in the world as here. Maybe America started it with their burger ‘sandwich’. I’m not even going to go there with hotdogs! The Vietnamese are getting in on the act with their Banh Mi, generally seasoned meat in a softer version of the french baguette, thanks to their colonial past.
I have a huge problem with bread in North America and Canada. Reflecting the symptoms of Gluten Intolerance with painful bloating, a reaction I have never had in all my bread eating years. Reputedly, the wheat in North America is ‘desiccated’ with roundup a few days before the harvest, to help the wheat release and be more easily processed. If I make bread using Organic wheat, no problem. Eat commercial bread, painful bloating. Both bread’s have wheat, the only difference is the processing. The penny drops… I am consuming this horrendous chemical, designed to kill bugs. What is it doing to the bugs in my digestive system, and me?
For me, the only answer in North America, is to make my own bread or buy Organic. As pre-packaged bread has too much sugar for my European tastes, I’m massively reducing my bread intake and massively enjoying home made bread! I have recently been introduced to making bread with a kitchen aid… is it cheating? It makes it so fast and easy!
I tended to prefer a larger meal at lunchtime when my digestion feels stronger, but considering the vegan options in your average sandwich shop, it’s just as well. All of that could be about to change as Pret goes Veggie! They’ll be turning a Soho Pret store into a vegetarian as a pop-up, test or gimmick, I don’t really care. The fact it’s happening and is good enough ‘news’ to be getting coverage in the press, illustrates the growing swell of support for a meat free lifestyle. So vegetarians, let’s show our support and make it so successful it becomes a permanent feature and the sandwich choice for vegans is expanded out from avocado…. haven’t ever seen one of those growing in the UK…