We’ve come to the end of Gyros to Heroes, and it’s been a fun, mustard-soaked ride. This column has dealt a lot with the past, the present, and the personal of the sandwich. So, today, let’s talk about its future. For you, today, I’ve compiled some predictions for 2013 of what to expect in the field of sandwich artistry and its related work. These predictions are clearly the result of years of expertise, trendspotting and SCIENCE!, so by all means, take them seriously.
It’s been an honor writing this column, and I hope the five or six of you that read it regularly (looking at you especially, David Weaver), enjoyed it and maybe got a few laughs out of it. From the bottom of my heart, and my gut, thanks for reading, and as always, remember the advice of the late, great Warren Zevon. Enjoy every sandwich.
The 2013 Gyros to Heroes Sandwich Trend Report
- Although Philadelphia has recently sat atop the throne as America’s best sandwich city, in 2013, the title will go to the Midwest metropolis of Oklahoma City. This will occur after a leading food critic from one of the coasts, driving through en route to South by Southwest or something, stops by a converted gas station on the edge of town and discovers the ‘Durantwich,’ an indigenous variation of the PB&J featuring a celestial mélange of jams canned by a nonagenarian Oklahoma City Thunder fan with a farm in the heart of Oklahoma, toasted and served in the Sooner State’s distinctive meat-cleaver shape.
- Capicola will be the meat of the year. Its time is due. Tongue will also have a particularly favorable run.
- The passive-aggressive consumption of fried chicken sandwiches as a form of contemporary activism will continue. Sorry, y’all, this one isn’t going away any time soon. It could if you wanted it to, though! Another world is possible! Say yes to elevated discourse, human decency, equality and waffle fries. These are all good things.
- The jibarito, a delicious Chicago-originated ‘wich that features plantains instead of bread, will begin popping up all over the country. In fact, 2013 will be an excellent year for bread-free sandwiches, be the bookends plantains, actual various pieces of meat, greens or waffles. Especially look waffles as bookends to savory fillings.
- The bacon-as-culinary-meme trend will finally run its course. Bacon will still be readily available and appear on sandwiches and remain a beloved staple as such, of course, but no longer will makers of sandwiches and sandwich accoutrements attempt to out-bacon one another which has resulted in bizarre concoctions like Baconnaise spread.
- When the city council of Madison, Wisconsin passes an ordinance decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, a popular campus burger joint will come under fire for toasting their buns in marijuana-infused butter. All across the country, where legally permissible, medical marijuana delis will become a thing. Somewhere, Nancy Botwin will be seething at this missed opportunity.
- In the same gradual but obsessive manner found in the work of Ricky Gervais, Daft Punk, international soccer and Benedict Cumberbatch, the traditional Döner kebab will finally resonate with a sizable American audience. It will not, however, overtake the gyro as the shaved-meat concoction of choice.
- Sriracha. On. Everything. Always.
- In the tradition of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Double Down, the Taco Bell Doritos Locos Taco and that one amazing/horrifying thing that’s a burger between two grilled cheeses, more fast-food establishments will continue to try to one-up one another in the late-night, drunk, shame-eating category. Moving first on this trend will be Denny’s, who will replace their mac-and-cheese-packed grilled cheese with a sandwich featuring two deep-fried wads of macaroni-and-cheese as the bread. And bacon, as they will not have gotten the memo about that bacon thing. Good luck, everyone!
- Capitalizing on the popularity of the surprise rap hit of the summer and subsequent requests from customers, at least one Minneapolis-based delicatessen will begin offering Hot Cheetos and Takis as sandwich toppings. Snack, snack, snack. Crunch.
- Ice cream sandwiches will enter a renaissance period as a result of pop-up and ‘artisanal’ bakeries and creameries. These ice cream sandwich purveyors may attempt to find ways to inject as much alcohol as possible into the process, from stout cookies to whiskey ice cream to, well, any excuse to do some drunk baking.