Monday, December 15, 2008

The Sandwich of Earthly Delight!

Guy: The central market in Sao Paulo has been chronicled on this blog previously, and it is with trepidation that I hasten my return there. I know we have some outstanding, outstanding recipes' from a number of our good readers, I know our mission is to bring into the fold as many of your stories, memories and recipe's as possible, I know the end of the year approaches! So, let us say that all contributions will be published, and to do this Zola and I will extend the Food Chains beyond our stated one year goal. We did fall prey to the pressures of our "other lives" there in the early fall and missed a number of week of posting, so the new plan is that the blog will continue into '09 until all contributions are honored.

Now back to the Sao Paulo market. Many wondrous things exist in this place. Fresh produce of every description, all number of stores selling Cachaca, olive oils, pimentos and candies fruits. To report the cornucopia here, would require a post in the pages so let cut right to the chase. There a a few things the market is known for in terms of fast food output. The emblematic item in this regard, the one that most people will mention first when conversation of the market arises is the Mortadella sandwiches. Bourdain is taken straight to the market to down one of these behemoths on his arrival in Sao Paulo, in "No Reservations". My friend and business associate Andre made it plain that a Mortadella sandwich at the Sao Paulo market is a truly authentic item in the Paulista's food consciousness.
Essentially it's a very simple item, it's art and beauty is contained within the conception of the morsel, a broad powerful brushstroke of a sandwich that in it simplicity and the atmosphere it is served in, becomes a transcendental event. My humble and paltry attempt to recreate it (although delicious and toothsome in it's own right) did not live up to the experience of downing one of these with an ice cold beer and good friends in the market itself!

For what it's worth here is my interpretation of the Sao Paulo Mortadella sandwich. The ingredients are simple. Mortadella and lots of it!
Fresh, light, crusty french bread, and olive oil. For my mortadella I when to Remo Borrachini's on Ranier Ave. and bought a half pound for one sandwich. You must understand the Sao Paulo sandwiches are of epic proportions, my single half pounder was adequate, yet undernourished compared to the portly originals (see if you can guess who's is who's from the pictures). For the bread I used a Vietnamese baguette, and I had some oil left from shopping at the market itself. Production is simple, on a hot pan (or plate at the market) lightly saute the motadella in some oil. Stuff the grilled mortadella in the bread. Enjoy the juicy, greasy, dripping simplicity!

The monkey picture is from Rio's botanical garden and appears here purely for fun!

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