There is no rational explanation for my obsession with party sandwiches.
Small rectangles of the most boring soft, crustless white or whole-wheat bread, layered with chopped egg salad or canned tuna or salmon, some in double-decker combinations: there is nothing remotely exciting about party sandwiches. You could easily make them yourself. And yet if you try, they never taste the same.
Bland comfort food at its finest, trays of party sandwiches have consoled mourners at post-funeral gatherings in my family ever since I was a child. When my maternal grandmother died I made sure to order plenty for everyone who came to pay their respects.
If I’m sick and my tummy is not up for the usual curries or sushi or tacos, I crave a plate of party sandwiches.
More recently, party sandwiches have become my go-to travel and pre-trip food. The night before an early flight, they serve as a light supper. Perfect plane food, too. Small and compact, and not too smelly.
Party sandwiches are plain. They are unassuming. They don’t make a fuss.
In the end, they’re just sandwiches. But like anything that’s greater than the sum of its parts, they’re also so much more.