Monday, January 19, 2009

Bruised Hammy and Ego...

This is a D'Artagnan Heritage Applewood Smoked Ham. I happen to very much love ham and I happen to very much love reading Serious Eats. So when Serious Eats had a competition for a holiday ham giveaway, I thought I should totally throw in my 2 cents and enter in the competition. I salivated at the chance of being the proud owner of this tasty ham. See link here. The criteria for judging was simply "What's on your favorite ham sandwich?"
Unfortunately and without much surprise, I lost. For most people on this planet, this is not particularly special because I've practically never won any sweepstakes in my life. I was Publisher's Clearing House finalist for 10 million dollars for like 5 years straight, but I just figure my luck ran out when they stopped sending me mail. I don't mind losing, but I figure the winning entry had to be amazingly brilliant or some sort of orgasmic mind blowing/numbing sandwich. Of course, seeing as to how these things do work, it isn't. The winner, identified as kobetobiko, simply listed the winning entry as, "iberico ham and nothing else is needed!"
When I initially read the winning entry, I was immediately demoralized. I had realized that this response could quite possibly be the most asinine and ridiculously wrong entry for the competition. Let me list you the reasons for poor kobetobiko's catastrophic failure in responding to the question and Serious Eats' serious mistake in selecting this undeserving winner:

1. The competition is about a favorite ham sandwich, which leads me to think that a sandwich is defined at least by two simple things: two pieces of bread with something put in between them. Ham alone a sandwich does not make. Doesn't good bread make or break a sandwich? I mean, he could have said poo on white and that would have been a legit sandwich. What if it was iberico ham on stale moldy bread? Would it be tasty then? Clearly, this should have been grounds for immediate disqualification if you ask me.

2. The competition was misleading. Show me a heritage applewood ham and announce a winner with an iberico ham entry. What the hell is the point of that? This simply means that he will win the ham, but won't be able to make the sandwich. Is this some sort of twisted joke that Serious Eats decided to play on kobetobiko? I would think the natural reaction to that can only be WTF.

3. "What's on your favorite ham sandwich?" To paraphrase the question, it sure sounds like, "what in addition to ham should make up your favorite ham sandwich?" Maybe kobetobiko meant that he liked iberico ham on top of regular ham, but I'm not giving this guy too much credit. Are you telling me that if I put truffle butter and foie on the sandwich, then kobetobiko would still prefer "just iberico ham?" This guy is clearly lying to himself and skirting the truth. I'm cool with liars, but I'm not cool with them beating me out for ham.

4. A sandwich with just ham is going to be ridiculously dry. No condiments? Think about the taste for a second. Sandwiches need lubrication - it's an essential part of putting meat in places.

5. This entry couldn't be any less sexier, the following all could have been winners. And, these are only a few examples of the awesome mouth watering entries:

-Country ham, scrambled eggs, and grape jelly on a biscuit mad anywhere below the Mason Dixon line.
-Honey rye bread, fig jam, drizzle of maple syrup, smoked gouda and a fried egg
-Ham, brie, mayo, lettuce & spicy brown mustard. Heat the sammy in a Panini press until the brie is melted. Delicious!
-Ham sliced thin, jarlsburg, spicy brown mustard, warm crusty Kaiser roll with poppy seeds. ohh how I miss NYC... (no good rolls in VA)
-Ham on toasted sourdough and a slice of Emmentauler cheese and finish with a spicy mustard. A nice pickle on the side!
-whole grain bread, ham, havarti, lettuce, tomato, sprouts and galric aioli mustard
-Zatarian's creole mustard, mayo, baked ham, Munster cheese, red leaf lettuce, sliced Heirloom tomato, sliced pickled mild banana peppers, on a 6 inch slice of crusty baquette.
-Like a Monte Cristo: Sourdough, dijon/mayo combo, swiss, sauteed onions, pickles, egg battered and pan fried

Whoever picked the winner on Serious Eats really needs some explaining to do. I think the best entries are the specific ones where you can just visualize the flavors playing around in harmony in your mouth. Man, the creole mustard entry wasn't mine, but I would even consider going that one over my own.


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