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Sandwich Summit at Wassaic Project

Cuisine of the Future
by Antonia Shoumatoff
Mon Sep 19th, 2016

Preparing to launch. Photo of Jenna Eppink, Sandwich Aeronautical Engineer, by Walker Esner.

Teaser photo: portrait of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich who popularized the food of choice served at late-night London gambling clubs. 

A tongue-in-cheek sandwich appreciation event took place with the solemnity of a major academic conference at the Wassaic Project auction barn over the weekend. Powerpoints, music videos, voicemails, literary treatises, a fashion show, and aeronautical-flight-launches of sandwiches with their contents as well as discontents delighted squealing crowds of young Brooklynites assembled in the outside field and auction ring amid low blue clouds.

At the Fifth Sandwich Club Summit, a newfound appreciation of every canonical aspect of the sandwich was put forth.  Highlights included Hallie Scott’s curation of “the real and speculative history” of sandwich art, a sandwich fashion show with functional garments for carrying every kind of sized sandwich from pita to panini. The sandwich functional accessory line included a sandwich utility belt with little round plastic pods for tiny bagels. There were salt and pepper earrings, upper arm condiment pouches and secret snack area designs.

A literary elucidation of references to the sandwich was presented by Jeremy Fredericksen, who had explained “The Sandwich in the Law” last year.  For example, the first reference to the ‘croque monsieur’ took place in Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and an early literary reference to the open cucumber sandwich took place in Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest.

One of the most intriguing presentations, by Madeleine Stern, was about predicting sandwiches of the future.  She stated that the fate of the sandwich is interconnected with the fate of the Earth--that as the environment slowly dies, humans will resort to more and more drastic sources for sandwich ingredients, such as bread made out of insects, lab-grown meats, and genetically-modified vegetables.

The Virtual Sandwich, was another prediction for the future, a perfect solution for dieters, something only a trained mystic can connect with.  Ms. Stern suggested that in the future sandwiches will be in our phones, and our phones will be in our bodies, as fitbits as we evolve into the internet of all things.  Sandwiches will become more than wireless, they will become virtual....” This involved pre-cognitive dreaming to see DEEP into the Sandwich Future….”

David Diamond, from Pawling, New York, pulled us back into the present with the following comment on the Sandwich Summit:  “This event was truly hysterical.  You never knew whether it was art making fun of academics, or academics making fun of art, but it worked both ways.” Just as a sandwich has two sides....

A Matisse painting with sandwiches.  Photoshop by Hallie Scott