Saturday, January 15, 2005

Choice of a Generation - The Rise and Fall of the Cheese Sandwich

Ask anyone over 75 what they had for lunch and the response is more than likely to be a cheese spread sandwich. My grandfather - god rest his soul - never went a day without porridge for breakfast and a cheese sandwich for lunch. He developed the daily routine with the Princess Pats and followed it religiously to the day he died.

Cheese spreads were born as an oddity of the early century. The financial difficulties of the Great Depression and a rationed world war ensured that this simple food became the life-long staple of an entire generation. Maintaining and enhancing their culinary love through the prosperous post-war boom years, these hardy folks happily adapted to technology and embraced such modern wonders as processed sliced cheese and 'cheese whiz' into their daily diet. Unsurprisingly, even the lowly cheese sandwich has been yuppified.

Over the years, this delight - better known as 'croque monsieur' when a slice of ham is added - has become a cultural icon and developed a 'religious reverence'all its own.

While scorned today as trite and boring, here's an ode to the lowly cheese sandwich and the generation that embraced it so.


Blogger Stretch Armstrong said...

Norman Bates: Would you care to share my toasted cheese sandwich?
Mrs. Spool: No thank you.

2:08 AM  

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