American Sandwich Series: Lesser-Known Regional Sandwiches of America (Midwest Edition)

How do Midwesterners ever live past 40?  Are their hearts made out of Adamantium?” 

~Non-Midwesterners Reading About Popular Midwestern Sandwiches

italian beef

Another day, another discussion of sandwiches coming long after you’ve tossed up your hands and screamed, “AFFotD, listen, I get it, there are a lot of sandwiches out there, you don’t have to tell us about every damn one!”  Well too late reader, by the time you’ve read this, they’ve all been written, and nothing can stop us from posting them, so you’re going to take your two more weeks of sandwich articles and like it!

Anyway, we’re moving on to the Midwest now in our regional portion of sandwich celebration.  As stated in the first article of the series, there will be no discussion of hot dogs, and we’ve also covered regional favorites such as the Italian Beef (though we put that picture up there because, God, how good does that look right now?).  But don’t worry, there will be plenty of unhealthy food items, even from Chicago despite our decision not to include literally every food they’re famous for, for you to stuff down your gullet before sobbingly calling your dietitian to apologize for cheating.  Westward, ho!

American Sandwich Series:  Lesser-Known Regional Sandwiches of America (Midwest Edition)

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American Sandwich Series: Lesser-Known Regional Sandwiches of America (East Coast Edition)

“No, seriously, if you want the best Pit Beef in the city, look no farther than outside a strip club.  I’m not joking, actually.”

~Baltimore Residents

sandwiches

Welcome to part four of our eight-part American Sandwich Series, the only eight-part article series on the internet that’s express purpose is to make an entire staff of writers lose their minds to the point that they try to, and successfully, rob a bank using submarine sandwiches as weapons.  Today we’re going to talk about somewhat lesser-known sandwiches that are specific to a very specific region.  We’ll eventually cover the Midwest, and later the rest of America, but for now, the East Coast is here with a slew of sandwiches that range from “pretty normal” to “how did you know we were hungover, you’re a fucking angel for inventing this.”  Let’s not dawdle.

American Sandwich Series:  Lesser-Known Regional Sandwiches of America (East Coast Edition)

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American Sandwich Series: Open faced Sandwiches of America

“There can’t be that many distinct open faced sandwiches out there, right?  Right?  Why are you guys so mad, Research Department?”

~AFFotD Editor-in-Chief Johnny Roosevelt

open face sandwich

We’ve started on a journey here at America Fun Fact of the Day.  A journey to learn way more than we need to about sandwiches.  So far, we’ve covered classic and traditional sandwiches ranging from the BLT to the PB&J to a bunch that actually have full names that can be spelled out.  We’re on the third of eight articles on the subject, because someone once told us that you can never write too much about sandwiches, and we’re looking to expose him as the filthy fucking liar that he is.  Which brings us to a specific genre of sandwich that often gets overlooked—the open faced sandwich.  Really, this concept predates the actual sandwich, and some might take issue with a single slice of bread covered with additional food items being called a sandwich, to which we’d say you need to find more interesting things to have strong opinions of.

Open sandwiches appear everywhere, from the Scandinavian Smørbrød to the Russian buterbrod.  Okay, we just copy and pasted those, apparently a Norwegian open sandwich just takes a piece of buttered bread and puts “whatever the fuck you want…meat?  Smoked fish?  Sure” on top, while buterbrod is just tomatoes and sprat on bread which is exactly as depressing as we’d expect from Russia’s contribution to this genre of food.

That said, there are numerous American-created open faced sandwiches.  Most are served hot, and are the ideal American mix of delicious and actively trying to shorten our lifespan.  We can get behind of those, so let’s talk about how America knows how to do open faced sandwiches the right way.  Hah, Russia.  Fucking sprat.  You guys are the worst.

American Sandwich Series:  Open faced Sandwiches of America

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American Sandwich Series: Classic and Timeless American Sandwiches (Part 2)

 “Why are there so many sandwiches?  Why are you making us do this, Johnny?”

~AFFotD’s Research Department

sandwiches for all

Earlier this week, we set some ground rules on what will be a record-breaking (what record?  Fuck if we know, but there’s probably got to be some record out there that this breaks) eight-part article series to tell you about every sandwich we can think of that we haven’t already covered in our previous four-part section about regional submarine-style sandwiches.  So far we’ve told you about five standard classic sandwiches, all of which hit that perfect American sweet spot of being delicious but also pretty unhealthy for you.  We’ve been mainlining sandwiches ever since, trying to find inspiration through a bunch of cheese and/or bacon laden portable bread treats, and our doctor says if we don’t stop eating 10 sandwiches a day we’re going to die.  We told him to shut up, we have articles to right, and we can’t think of a better hero’s death than to die from too many ingested sandwiches.

This article series is already starting to mess with our state of mind.  It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.  Now, more classic American sandwiches!

American Sandwich Series:  Classic and Timeless American Sandwiches (Part 2)

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American Sandwich Series: Classic and Timeless American Sandwiches (Part 1)

“Oh God, but remember how we all lost our minds the last time?”

~AFFotD Editor-in-Chief, Johnny Roosevelt

 sammich

In the beginning of 2014, our staff undertook a daunting enterprise.  We decided to write about every single submarine-type sandwich.  Every damn  one.  It took us four articles and over 10,000 words to cover every sandwich we could find on anything that could be considered cylindrical French-style bread, which of course we referred to as being “phallic” and “kind of dick-shaped” over and over, because we’re classy like that.  At the time, we decided to limit ourselves to submarine sandwiches, because if we wanted to talk about every kind of sandwich we could think of, it’d probably take like, eight articles and countless hours of research that still would not yield a truly comprehensive list of America’s sandwiches.

So, anyway, we have now just decided to do that last thing, because we’re gluttons for punishment.  We’re going to post eight articles about American sandwiches.  First, we’ll lay some ground rules so we only write about enough sandwiches to never want to look at a sandwich again, as opposed to writing about sandwiches until that becomes our identity, that becomes who we are now and forever, just sandwich writers, sitting in dark rooms, writing about sandwiches as our life force slowly ebbs away.  Um.  But yes.  Ground rules.

  • Same goes with any submarine sandwich or a sandwich on a roll.  We’re not double dipping here, folks, you can read that four-part series that we’ve linked at the top of this section if you want to find out about the origins of submarines, Philly cheesesteaks, Cuban sandwiches, and anything that looks even a little bit like a penis.  Yes that includes lobster rolls too.  Yes that also includes whatever sandwich you just said. Stop listing sandwiches, you’re talking to a computer, we can’t fucking hear you.  It’s unbelievable that we have to point this fact out to you.
  • Sandwiches with simple or basic ingredients are only included if there’s an actual story of it being created, as opposed to “eh, it’s food that people have put on sandwiches forever.”  So we’ll talk to you about BLTs because that’s a combination that actually has a history to it.  But we’re not going to talk about ham sandwiches or bologna sandwiches since that’s just what happens when you give someone bread and ham.  Other sandwiches that you won’t see here no matter how much you beg—breakfast sandwich, pepper and egg sandwich, just about any sandwich that’s a single meat, anything that purposely tries to be vegetarian, and probably that sandwich you just asked about right now, seriously, you have to stop talking at your computer, your coworkers are going to think you’re weird if they don’t already.
  • This is probably not going to be a complete list.  Tough shit.  Let us know in the comments if you can think of a sandwich we didn’t cover and if we think it qualifies, we’ll put it in one of these articles and probably not give you credit for correcting us.

So here we go with our first entry—classic sandwiches that all of America loves.

American Sandwich Series:  Classic and Timeless American Sandwiches (Part 1)

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An AFFotd Exclusive: Robert Stewart and the 1.00 BAC

“I’m not proud of it by no means but after that night and my hospital bills it would be nice to get something else out of it.  Lol.”

~Robert Stewart

beer hat

Listen.  We’re not exactly breakers of news around these parts.  We hear about things, we let you know them, and  we dig through the internet’s murkier basements to find about high alcohol beers or cotton candy flavored vodkas, but this isn’t exactly the Washington Post here.  The closest we come to breaking news is when we purposely misrepresent a news article because we’re feeling like being kind of dickish that particular day.  We’re not the kind of site that people go to when they want to be the first to hear about some Earth shattering development, though we’d not mind being the kind of site that people would offer free beers to so we can review them for them (hint hint, America).

That’s why we’re writing a quick AFFotD in order to tell you about an edit we recently made to one of our more popular article thanks to an email sent in by an intrepid reader.  He informed us that our article, at the time listing the eight highest BAC readings of all time, was a bit inaccurate, because he had just the previous weekend drank himself to a healthy (editor’s note: no the opposite of that word you just used) 1.00 BAC, meaning that a full 1% of all the blood in his body was alcohol.

bud select

To put it in perspective, his BLOOD was about half as alcoholic as this beer.

Do we know if this is true?  No.  Is it true?  Eh, we hope, maybe.  He wanted us to use his real name, he gave us his details of the day (our main concerns are that he remembers what he drank a bit too well and, honestly, that the email address he sent to us lists a different name than the one he told us to use for the article).   But we so rarely get a chance to break a story!  So anyway, here is the story of Kentucky resident Robert Stewart, which is possibly his real name or it’s possibly someone who really likes Rob Stewart taking us for a fucking ride, but yeah.  Our exclusive story about a 1.00 BAC.

Editor’s note:  At this point it should go without saying that this is not something you should ever try to match, because you will die.  Actively die.  Not, ha ha, oh man, this much booze will kill you, ha ha ha, no we mean it, HALF of this booze is what most doctors refer to as a lethal fucking blood alcohol content, so, like, just drink until you black out and stop there, okay?

An AFFotd Exclusive:  Robert Stewart and the 1.00 BAC

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The Medal of Honor from 1871-1917: The Military Honor America Couldn’t Seem To Give Away Fast Enough

“No, seriously, you have to stop printing these like Thin Mints.  What’s it gonna take, an actual major war to make you chill?”

~Smedley Butler, trying to turn down a Medal of Honor in the early 20th century

medal of honor

We’re going to start this one off with a disclaimer—any claims we make regarding the Medal of Honor is a reflection of how politicians and military leaders handed out the honor before we really had any intense modern wars under our belt.  Our servicemen that fought in the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, or the many other excursions where they have put their lives on the line for their brothers and for their country have paid dearly for our benefit, and every single recipient of the Medal of Honor can, at worst, be called a hero (at best they can be called “basically Batman, if Batman could get free beer and deserved gratitude sex whenever they want”).

Even when we make fun of the skirmishes that resulted in Medals of honor being handed out during the time period of 1869 (when we had kind of forgotten what the Civil War was like) to 1917 (when we started World War I and realized, holy shit, this shit is super intense), we’re acknowledging that the soldiers who were awarded did show valor and a love of this country.  They just happened to get an award that was handed out to pretty much anyone who asked for it up until recently.  Let’s put it this way—Congress gave out 1522 Medal of Honors in the Civil War, of which 32 were posthumous.  Now, the American Civil War was a bloody and bitterly fought war, but when you consider the fact that we awarded only 464 during the entirety of World War II (266 posthumously by the way), or that we’ve only given out 16 (7 of which were to fallen soldiers) of these awards in the Afghanistan and Iraqi War combined, you can see how we’ve increasingly made the honor harder and harder to get.  The Congressional Medal of Honor, as we know it know, is the most prestigious and rare award for those who have gone above and beyond their duty to keep freedom within these borders—for those of you with a loose idea of what military action generally means, this is the award a soldier gets when doing something so brave and so intense that, if you saw it in a movie, you’d respond, “Oh, come on, the director’s really taking some liberties with this battle to make it seem more exciting.”

So currently, yes, the Medal of Honor is given out only in the most extraordinary and harrowing cases , but during the time period between the end of the Civil War and start of World War I?  Well, at that point it was more…

The Medal of Honor from 1871-1917: The Military Honor America Couldn’t Seem To Give Away Fast Enough

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Gary Kness: The Ultimate Badass Bystander

“Wait, you mean life ISN’T supposed to be like a Michael Bay film?”

~Gary Kness

gary kness medal

On April 5th, 1970, two career criminals named Bobby Davis and Jack Twinning were planning on using explosives to rob an armored car in California, since action movies had yet to catch up to real life at this point.  On the way to steal these explosives, Davis decided to performed an ill-advised U-turn, cutting off a military serviceman who he then threatened by brandishing a gun before fleeing when the serviceman told him that officers from the California Highway Patrol were in the area.  They weren’t, but they would be, since the serviceman immediately went to a payphone (before cell phones we used to call people by, you know what, no time to explain, just roll with it) to actually get the police there to track down the crazy dude brandishing a gun on the highway.  This little bit of road rage eventually lead to the Newhall massacre, a tragic event that took the lives of four young CHP officers, which at the time was the deadliest day in the history of California law enforcement, and lead to drastic overhauls in the way police officers are kept safe in this country.

We could talk about the Newhall massacre specifically, because it’s a very intense story, but it’s also a bummer to focus in on that, so instead we’re going to take a moment to tell you about the Newhall massacre through the eyes of Gary Kness, the 31-year-old former Marine who happened to drive past the shootout and think, “You know what, this is something I should probably stick my nose in.”  While it was a day that was filled with tremendous sacrifice (God, we’re going to have a hard time tossing in jokes about this without feeling like dicks) Gary Kness proves the American spirit of just, straight up not giving a fuck when it comes to putting punks in their damn place.

So with a lot of hemming and hawing, we present to you…

Gary Kness:  The Ultimate Badass Bystander

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America’s Strangest Alcohol-Infused Food Items

“Oh you son of a bitch.”

~Teetotalers We’ve Tricked Into Eating Alcoholic Food

beer chicken

Around these parts, our staff has a potentially unhealthy infatuation with combining two of the most American forms of consumption—eating and drinking—into inventive ways to get drunk without even having to drink anything.  Why do we want to take drinking out of the equation?  We don’t, drinking is wonderful, but we feel that there’s no such thing as too many ways to cram alcohol into your poor decisions, which is why we’re always around to champion such innovations as deep fried alcohol, and also why we’re going to try to be the first people to get hospitalized by eating that new powdered alcohol stuff straight from the box, just the powder.

Now, we’ve previously talked about food being used to make alcohol—specifically, meat beers that are brewed with actual animal meat, because ha ha vegetarians your lifestyle is one that our evolution has actively discouraged.  Now it’s only fitting to go the other direction, and talk about alcohol being used to make food.  All of these meals and desserts exist in America for your consumption, created by heroes who looked at a dinner plate and thought, “You know what?  Let’s get drunk off that, no matter how weird of an idea it might seem.”

America’s Strangest Alcohol-Infused Food Items

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The American History of the Pop-Tart

“Pop Tarts: The Perfect Breakfast For A Broken Home!”

~Rejected Pop Tarts slogan

pop tarts

Parenting is not easy, which is why American corporations have entire divisions dedicated to giving parents as many moments of unencumbered sanity as humanly possible.  Sure, we made Sesame Street as a fun way to entertain kids while educating them, but we also want to give parents thirty minutes of peace where they could plop the kids in front of the TV and talk about maybe getting a fast quickie done in the laundry room before ultimately deciding that they’d both rather just take a 10 minute nap.  It’s the same reason why the iPad went from a frankly unnecessary gadget to a must-have child distraction device for new parents, and it’s also why Uncrustables exist as an easy way to tell your child you don’t really love them that much.

But of all the areas where American corporations try to make life easier for the struggling parent, there is one breakfast treat that’s been jazzing kids and adults up on unnecessarily high amounts of sugar morning in and morning out in a quest to make at least the beginning of the day a shade easier while you try to hide the fact that you’re a bit hungover to your kids who just won’t stop asking why you’re holding your head in those shrill monster little voices of theirs.

That product, of course, is the Pop-Tart.  More American than the apple pie, because we invented it, and we use it to cut corners.

The American History of the Pop-Tart

 all the pop tarts Continue reading