Apart from war, famine, incurable disease and Maria Miller there is nothing in this life more depressing than a pre-packaged supermarket sandwich. They are the most soulless, uninspired, miserable thing that could be inflicted on a person at lunchtime. There are so many more interesting things you can spend your money on than a £3 meal deal, so why there is a market for rip off sandwiches in a box I will never know.
Rip offs in a box don’t get any more dramatic than Jamie Oliver’s range at Boots which is where I picked up his version of a “New Yorker” for £3.90. Yes you read that right, £3.90 for a pre-packaged, mass produced sandwich from Boots, it’s enough to make you want to jam your face into a Jamie Oliver blender. It’s not that I mind paying out for a decent sandwich; for instance at Anderson & Co just round the corner from my flat you will get the best sandwich you ever ate for £5. It features insanely good sourdough, thick cut ham, piccalilli and salad. It fulfills all your sandwich desires and if all prepacked sandwiches tasted like that, the world would be a glorious place. But unfortunately they don’t. They taste like chewy doormats with nasty fillings that you’d be ashamed to serve your cat.
With all that said you’re probably wondering if I enjoyed this Jamie Oliver sandwich, and the short answer is, surprisingly no. No I did not. It was crap. The dark wholemeal bread was dry, had an awful texture and tasted of floor underlay. The filling was pitiful, really, really embarrassing. If I had a salt beef sandwich in New York it would be approximately a foot tall and I would not be able to eat it without getting covered in slabs of beef that dropped out because the bread couldn’t contain them. Jamie turns all that on it’s head and offers two thin slices that you can barely taste because it’s so salty and the gherkin with it’s vinegary sharpness overwhelms the lot. The whole thing ends with a blast of mustard that overtakes even the gherkin. If the salt beef was multiplied ten fold then the balance might be just about OK but as it stands this is a failure of epic proportions.
Jamie made a big deal about his trips round America and learning from the culture and absorbing the food heritage, then he comes back and produces this dross for the UK market. For his next series he should hand out a “New Yorker” to everyone he meets in NYC and explain to them that this is what he believes a good New York deli sandwich to be and then with the cameras rolling we can all watch as he’s laughed out of town.
So if you are in a position where the only thing you can get for lunch is a pre-packed sandwich, then whatever you do, don’t make it this one. It really is the bottom of the barrel and you deserve better. Even Maria Miller deserves better.
Jamie Oliver New Yorker Sandwich £3.90