Monday, 8 August 2011

M&S New York Deli Pastrami Sandwich

£3.99, M&S

On sitting down to read possibly the finest piece of writing ever (once again), I was much taken with the desire to eat a sandwich.

I was introduced to this particular sandwich recently by my friend Emily2 on a tediously prolix journey from Oxford to Guildford when we managed to eat three, washed down with what was perhaps, with hindsight, a superfluity of of M&S ready-made Gin and Slim.

The history of the New York Pastrami Sandwich is one that is shrouded in myst'ry, steeped in controversy and shot-through by warring factions; Volk says it's his sandwich / And Katz's say it's their sandwich.

On to my sandwich... The pastrami's great; tasty, and loads of it, reminds me of corned beef but without the niggling doubts about what it's made of. Gherkins and sauerkraut are good (possibly great) accompaniments, their zingy flavour and crunch playing perfectly with the meat. The light American mustard dressing is icing-on-the-cake rather than gilding-the-lily.

Damn good so far, but then you hit cheese. At least you do texturally, beacuse it tastes very precisely of nothing. No American, Jewish or otherwise, has ever done anything worthwhile with cheese, and this sandwich is no exception: an especially pointless addition.

The bread too leaves a lot to be desired. It's density and uniformity do make for a sandwich with commendable structural integrity, but there's no bite to it, and they defintiely could've done better taste-wise.

In all 'though this is a very good sandwich. On the "Spanish Airport Cheese Sandwich 20-Point Scale"* it's a solid 13. And there's potential for more, without a couple of unforced errors (cheese, bread) this is easily a 16 point sandwich, maybe even 17.

* A fairly self-explanatory rating system, whereby a sandwich is judged against the 20-point Platonically Ideal cheese sandwich- available in all good Spanish airports.


  1. Had a long comment on how an M&S tuna sandwich was my lunch of choice when I worked at The Halifax Building Society (there is life after banking), but I lost it.

  2. Sounds like a winner. M&S- purveyor of many tasty sandwiches. Tuna Mayo- a filling that consistently punches above its weight. Worth investigating.

    Pretty stylish career move there VG, The Halifax to California winery. Nice.