â€œRecently I took a friend with only a high school degree to lunch. Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named â€˜Padrinoâ€™ and â€˜Pomodorâ€™ and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican.â€
â€” David Brooks, â€œHow We Are Ruining America,â€ New York Times, 7/11/17
McSweeney’s has published the Course Catalog for David Brooks’ Elite Sandwich College:
Classic Italian Meats 205
Prerequisite: Basic Deli Meats 101
In this class we will go beyond the American deli meats like ham, turkey, and chicken breast and learn more in-depth about the classic Italian cured meats: Pancetta, Prosciutto, Capicola, and more. Students will learn about origin, curing techniques, and appropriate stacking method. Two lectures and two studio hours each week.
Fancy Condiments and Toppings 305
Prerequisite: Mayonnaise and Mustard Only 101
Students will learn the basics of topping a sandwich beyond just meat and vegetables. Techniques include the seasoned olive oil drizzle and distribution of aioli. If time in semester permits, students will dabble in use of cornichons and castelvetranos. Three lectures and one lab weekly.
A perfect sandwich wrap takes skills. This likely wasnâ€™t covered in your basic high school sandwich courses. Wrapping techniques discussed include old style deli-fold, long breads, and double layer. Lab only.
Talking to Your Friends About Italian Delis 426
In this soft-skills class, students will learn how to help friends who have never visited a deli choose items on the menu. Students will learn how to gently correct friends when they pronounce â€œmozzarellaâ€ with the â€œaâ€ sound at the end, when the right time is to explain that tomatoes were actually not native to Europe so marinara sauce is actually not traditionally Italian, and the right way to introduce that pizza is actually very different in Italy. Three lectures weekly. Includes unannounced quizzes/sandwich runs.