There are ham sandwiches, and then there is the Hot Hamm Sandwich, i.e. a metaphorical sandwich made with ravishingly handsome actor Jon Hamm of "Mad Men" and, more recently, "30 Rock" fame.
If given the choice between a hot ham sandwich and a Hot Hamm Sandwich, I don't know how I could ever chose. But my buddy Melty Gruyere Emswiler has a thing for Jon Hamm and thus has started a blog called Need a Hamm Sandwich. Basically, she is trying to raise money to bid on a charity eBay auction in which one lucky winner gets to have lunch with Jon Hamm. No word on whether ham sandwiches will actually be served, but at that point, I don't think anyone will be arguing about the menu. So help a lady get a Hamm Sandwich!
When people ask what my favorite sandwich is — as they often do — I can never really pick a favorite. But one of my standard answers is a chicken banh mi from Saigon Sandwiches in San Francisco. Because when it comes to the ratio of price to deliciousness, the $3 banh mi is pretty much the best sandwich ever. A tasty tribute to the benefits of colonialism, this piece of Vietnamese street food combines unusual Asian flavors like cilantro and rice vinegar with delectably crusty French bread.
A story in this week's New York Times profiles banh mi makers who are turning the sandwiches into cross-cross-cultural delights, using the French-Vietnamese platform for unlikely fillings, like Polish sausage and sloppy joe. Given that a favorite banh mi filling is pork meatball, I can imagine such meaty fillings working well against the hot peppers, crunchy carrots, and Asian mayo that typically dress a banh mi. Much the same way that po'boys and heroes have expanded beyond their origins, the boundaries of a banh mi could be pushed pretty far as long as you maintain the basic definition of the sandwich.