It goes by many names the Gobbler, a holiday sandwich, or if you fancy yourself a fan of overrated sitcoms, the Moist Maker. Whatever you call it, one thing is certain: a sandwich made up of Thanksgiving leftovers is America’s sandwich.
It’s pracitically a bald eagle on a roll.
Hey, wait a second… wouldn’t a hot fog or a hamburger be the most American sandwich?
You’d think so, but you couldn’t be more wrong. First of all, a hot dog is not a sandwich. Meanwhile, a hamburger has Hamburg in the name. I’m no linguistics expert, but I’m pretty sure that makes it as German BMW, Kraftwerk, and starting World Wars.
Allow me to explain why The Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich is so American it should be a coin.
Not a big coin like a quarter or a half dollar, but maybe a dime. A commemorative one.
Thanksgiving is one of the greatest holidays that we have, and what better way to extend the festivities than to pile the remnants on top of any bread you happen to have laying around?
I can’t think of a better one. There’s just something about the taste of roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a dash of gravy comingling. It’s sweet, it’s succulent and it’s salty. Every bite feels like you’re getting hammered at noon on a Thursday all over again.
But there’s a bigger significance to the holiday sandwich, and that is that it is one of the few unifying forces in America today.
Food, much like politics, has become tribalized. While those political tribes are split along ideological lines, food tribalism is typically geographic.
Don’t believe me? Do you Like ketchup on a hot dog? I think it’s bordering on sacrilege, but it’s perfectly fine in most settings (if you’re under the age of 12).
Now, Try putting ketchup on your hot dog in Chicago without having to serpentine back to your car.
Although you might have to do that anyway. It’s Chicago.
Everywhere you look cities and even entire regions take great pride in their food.
Philly is home to the cheesesteak, the aforementioned Chicago has the Italian beef, Florida has the Cuban sandwich, the midwest has the pork tenderloin, Nashville has the hot chicken sandwich, New England has the lobster roll, and the list goes on and on.
Every one of them is great (although Pittsburgh’s Primanti sandwich is just okay. It’s fries on a regular sandwich that lacks structural integrity; get over yourselves).
Each of those cities or regions would go to war for their respective sandwiches (in fact, I’ll probably get an earful from some Yinzers).
Families become divided. Friendships are shattered.
But do you what doesn’t belong to one city?
The Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich.
It’s the most American sandwich out there because it belongs to all of us, whether you live in Philly, Chicago, LA, Nashville, or, yes, even Pittsburgh.
Thanksgiving is an American holiday. Except for Canadian Thanksgiving which isn’t. And it’s one of the few holidays that we all celebrate no matter what our background is.
The Holiday Leftover Sandwich represents that unity.
So, when you’re too hungover to move anywhere except for your kitchen to slather some leftovers on a hoagie roll, some slices of bread, or a tortilla (we don’t judge here), take a moment to bask in the glory of America’s sandwich.
Happy Thanksgiving, happy eating, and happy leftovers.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle