Daily Life

It all tastes better between bread...

They say you should live by a code. It’s probably less important that you eat by one, but some of us do.

I have three simple tenets that govern how I eat, and none would impress a dietitian.

Number 1. Never order the same meal as your wife. If she can’t finish hers, you want to be trying something different when you helpfully lean over with your fork.

Number 2. Always order the duck. You won’t regret it.

Number 3 is the controversial one.  It is that if it tastes good, it tastes better between bread.

Now I don’t mean literally anything. As my wife points out, I’m not likely to order a tiramisu sandwich (or am I?).

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But most savoury food items I’m likely to encounter around lunchtime can be happily consumed between bread.

The classic demonstration of this ‘bread theory’ is the chip butty.

The pie sandwich... conquerer of a two-pie hunger at about half the cost and calories.
The pie sandwich... conquerer of a two-pie hunger at about half the cost and calories. Photo: Karleen Minney

Whether hot chips, or salt and vinegar crisps, when properly arranged between slices of fresh white bread, they are raised to a higher plane.

The same is true for freshly peeled prawns. Yes, they’re great on their own, but I defy anyone who isn’t allergic to not enjoy every bite of a fresh prawns and white bread sandwich.

For me, bread theory took hold in school. Bread is the friend of the financially constrained teenager, the seafood extender of the canteen.

Having been what you might generously call ‘‘a growing lad’’, and with the plausible excuse of needing some size to play front row, I thrived on lunches of baked goods served between baked goods.

Back in the office my pie sandwich was met with derision, but I sensed a little hungry intrigue.

My mates and I would look up at the canteen menu board, see chicken-corn roll and immediately think chicken-corn roll in a bun.

Sausage roll? No, sausage roll in a bun!

And of course there was the enduring favourite, the pie sandwich, conquerer of a two-pie hunger at about half the cost and calories.

At the time it seemed a normal enough way to eat.  At least we weren’t like the girls at the school across the road eating Wagon Wheels on a roll.

But out in the grown-up world bread theory is little understood.

Years ago the staff at the bakery around the corner from the newsroom looked at me like I had a parrot on my head the first time I asked for a pie sandwich.

And when I went around on Wednesday to order one for this story there was an amusing standoff when they thought I ordered ‘‘five sandwiches’’. But we got there.

Back in the office my pie sandwich was met with derision, but I sensed a little hungry intrigue.

People started talking about their own strange sandwich preferences, or those that have horrified them.

Beetroot and banana, lettuce and honey, avocado and vegemite, even apple and vegemite.

Now I’m no Elvis, but they all sound a little dull, and, dare I say it this Healthy Weight Week, good for you.

Many lunchtimes back in my uni days I used to assemble a monstrous sandwich combo of curried egg, ham, hot chips and sweet chilli sauce.

You’re probably reeling in horror, but the way I’d describe that sandwich is all kinds of delicious.

Alas, that was a time when regular footy training and a faster metabolism let me get away with such a thing.

These days I have colleagues calculating the calorie count of my pie sandwich (746 calories, which I’m told would take me 70 minutes running at 9km/h  to burn off) and showing me news stories about obese Brits addicted to pork pie sandwiches.

Tasty as it is, the pie sandwich has become one of those things I tell my kids are "sometimes foods".

Are you a fan of the pie sandwich too? Do you have another favourite 'between bread' special? Share your culinary secrets below.

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