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Chaloner Woods // Getty
Chaloner Woods // Getty

12 Vintage Sandwiches You Can Make Today

Chaloner Woods // Getty
Chaloner Woods // Getty

The sandwich, a.k.a. foodstuff delivered inside a bread vehicle, is a timeless classic. The formula is open to endless interpretations, like lobster rolls, deep-fried Fluffernutter sandwiches, and donut grilled cheeses. In 1909, diners were arguably more creative with what they put between two slices of bread than they are today. The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich breaks the sandwich down into its seven main categories: fish, egg, salad, meat, cheese, nut, and sweet. No matter what you choose for filling, the turn-of-the-century publication emphasizes the importance of starting with good bread. A product “at least one day old” is preferred.

1. APPLE AND GRAPE SANDWICH

A sandwich can be so many things—a snack, a dessert, a weird salad you eat with your hands. This dish is a great example of all of the above. Start by chopping up apple, celery, and white grapes and toss the ingredients together with French dressing. Spread your mixture on thin slices of buttered white bread to make your sandwich.

2. OYSTER SANDWICH

Like oysters on the half-shell, the shellfish in this sandwich are garnished simply with oil, lemon juice, and Tabasco sauce. Mix together these ingredients with finely chopped raw oysters and serve on thinly-sliced white bread—add a lettuce leaf for some extra crunch.

3. HOT HAM NUMBER TWO

The book’s second take on a hot ham sandwich is reminiscent of a Monte Cristo. After spreading minced ham onto buttered bread, assemble the sandwiches and cut them into triangles. Dip the sandwich points into a mixture of beaten eggs, milk, and salt and cook them up on a hot griddle. Once the sandwiches have been fried French toast-style, serve with a slice of roasted tomato.

4. LEMON SANDWICH

Not many recipes feature whole lemon slices as the star ingredient. After removing the rind from the slices, dust them with powdered sugar and stack between buttered slices of white bread that have been cut into circles. A candied cherry on top will hopefully help to reduce the pucker-factor.

5. DAIRY SANDWICH

The dairy sandwich stays true to its name: The simple recipe asks you to spread fresh butter onto thin slices of Swiss and press the cheese together. There’s no mention of bread, suggesting this is literally meant to be a butter sandwich served between two slices of cheese. Unfortunately for sandwich purists, the protein-in-place-of-bread-theme has only gained traction in the last 100 years.

6. LOBSTER AND CAVIAR SANDWICH

Sandwiches aren’t typically associated with fine dining, but even luxurious ingredients like lobster and caviar can shine between bread. For this recipe, spread caviar onto lightly buttered bread and sprinkle with lemon juice. Spoon minced lobster meat on top and cover with the second slice of bread. Serve over a lettuce leaf—ideally on the beach with some chilled wine to wash it down.

7. OLIVE AND NUT SANDWICH

Unlike peanut and jelly, olive and nut never caught on as a popular pairing. This recipe calls for sandwich builders to finely chop olives with English walnuts and combine the ingredients together with mayonnaise. Served on buttered brown bread, the mixture makes for a light sandwich that’s big on texture.

8. FARMER SANDWICH

Pork chops and applesauce are commonly seen together on the dinner plate. Here they come together on a sandwich to make a savory-sweet lunch item. You can put this one together by layering thinly sliced cold, roast pork onto white bread and topping it with applesauce. Cap it with the second slice of bread and dig in.

9. TOMATO AND HORSERADISH SANDWICH

Here’s another curious food combination that’s failed to stand the test of time. To assemble a tomato and horseradish sandwich, start by sprinkling thin tomato slices with salt. Combine a half cup of horseradish with two tablespoons of mayonnaise and spread the mixture onto pieces of buttered white bread. Place the tomato slices between the bread and enjoy your meal while clearing out your sinuses at the same time.

10. CALF’S LIVER AND BACON SANDWICH

If you’re not a fan of calf’s liver, perhaps the addition of bacon will change your perspective. Take the well-done liver and chop it up fine with crisp slices of bacon. Season with salt, pepper, and ketchup and serve with a lettuce leaf between buttered graham or white bread.

11. EASTER SANDWICH

Whether or not you make it for Easter, this recipe should be saved for special occasions. Dip a crisp lettuce leaf in mayonnaise and lay that on a slice of buttered white bread. Fill the lettuce with slices of cold hard-boiled egg and sprinkle with salt and pepper. After the sandwich has been cut into squares, tie them up with “lavender baby ribbon” and present your guests with the world’s most adorable finger food—just remind them to remove the ribbon before taking a bite.

12. ASPIC JELLY SANDWICH

No list of early 20th century recipes would be complete without aspic. This retro delicacy is made by mixing gelatin and meat stock to create a savory JELLO mold. To prepare it for a sandwich, soak two ounces of gelatin in one cup of chicken stock until soft. Pour in three more cups of chicken stock that have been seasoned with cloves, parsley, celery, mace, salt, and pepper. Strain the liquid into a dish and mix in shredded chicken before refrigerating. Once the gelatin has set, cut it into “fancy shapes” and serve on buttered wheat bread.

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entertainment
13 Great Facts About Bad Lieutenant
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Bad Lieutenant can be accused of many things, but one charge you can't level against it is false advertising. Harvey Keitel's title character, whose name is never given, is indeed a bad, bad lieutenant: corrupt, sleazy, drug-addled, irresponsible, and lascivious, all while he's on the job. (Imagine what his weekends must be like!)

Abel Ferrara's nightmarish character study was controversial when it was released 25 years ago today, and rated NC-17 for its graphic nudity (including a famous glimpse at Lil’ Harvey), unsettling sexual violence, and frank depiction of drug use. The film packs a wallop, no doubt. Here's some behind-the-scenes info to help you cope with it.

1. THE PLACID WOMAN WHO HELPS THE LIEUTENANT FREEBASE HEROIN WROTE THE MOVIE.

That's Zoë Tamerlis Lund, who starred in Abel Ferrara's revenge-exploitation thriller Ms. 45 (1981) more than a decade earlier, when she was 17 years old. She and Ferrara are credited together for writing Bad Lieutenant, though she always insisted that wasn't the case. "I wrote this alone," she said. "Abel is a wonderful director, but he's not a screenwriter. She said elsewhere that she "wrote every word of that screenplay," though everyone agrees the finished movie included a lot of improvisation. Lund was a fascinating, tragic character herself—a musical prodigy who became an enthusiastic and unapologetic user of heroin before switching to cocaine in the mid-1990s. She died of heart failure in 1999 at age 37.

2. CHRISTOPHER WALKEN WAS SUPPOSED TO STAR IN IT.

Christopher Walken had starred in Ferrara's previous film, King of New York (1990), and was set to play the lead in Bad Lieutenant before pulling out at almost the last minute. Ferrara was shocked. "[Walken] says, 'You know, I don't think I'm right for it.' Which is, you know, a fine thing to say, unless it's three weeks from when you're supposed to start shooting," Ferrara said. "It definitely caught me by surprise. It put me in terminal shock, actually." Harvey Keitel replaced him (though not without difficulty; see below), and the film's editor, Anthony Redman, thought Keitel was a better choice anyway. "Chris is too elegant for the part," he said. "Harvey is not elegant." 

3. HARVEY KEITEL'S INITIAL REACTION TO THE SCRIPT WAS NOT PROMISING.

"When we gave [Keitel] the script the first time, he read about five pages and threw it in the garbage," Ferrara said. Keitel's recollection was a little more diplomatic. As he told Roger Ebert, "I read a certain amount of pages and I put it down. I said, 'There's no way I'm gonna make this movie.' And then I asked myself, 'How often am I a lead in a movie? Read it, maybe I can salvage something from it …' When I read the part about the nun, I understood why Abel wanted to make it."

4. IT WAS ORIGINALLY SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY.


Lionsgate Home Entertainment

"It was always, in my mind, a comedy," Ferrara said. He cited the scene where the Lieutenant pulls the teenage girls over as a specific example of how Christopher Walken would have played it, and how Harvey Keitel changed it. "The lieutenant was going to end up dancing in the streets with the girls as the sun came up. They'd be wearing his gun belt and hat, and they'd have the radio on, you know what I mean? But oh my God, Harvey, he turned it into this whole other thing." Boy, did he. 

5. THAT SCENE WITH THE TEENAGE GIRLS HAD A REAL-LIFE ELEMENT THAT MADE IT EVEN CREEPIER.

One of the young women was Keitel's nanny. Ferrara: "I said, 'You sure you want to do this with your babysitter?' He says, 'Yeah, I want to try something.'"

6. MUCH OF IT WAS FILMED GUERRILLA-STYLE.

Like many indie-minded directors of low-budget films, Ferrara didn't bother with permits most of the time. "We weren't permitted on any of this stuff," editor Anthony Redman admitted. "We just walked on and started shooting." For the scene where a strung-out Lieutenant walks through a bumpin' nightclub, they sent Keitel through an actual, functioning club during peak operating hours.

7. A GREAT DEAL OF THE DIALOGUE AND ACTION WERE MADE UP ON THE FLY.

The script was only about 65 pages at first, which would have made for about a 65-minute movie. "It left a lot of room for improvisation," producer Randy Sabusawa said, "but the ideas were pretty distilled. They were there."

Script supervisor Karen Kelsall said supervising the script was a challenge. "Abel didn't stick to a script," she said. "Abel used a script as a way to get the money to make a movie, and then the script was kind of—we called it the daily news. It changed every day. It changed in the middle of scenes." Ferrara was unapologetic about the script's brevity. "The idea of wanting 90 pages ... is ridiculous."

8. AND THERE WERE EVEN MORE IDEAS THAT THEY DIDN'T USE.

Ferrara said a scene that epitomized the movie for him—even though he never got around to filming it—was one where the Lieutenant robs an electronics store, leaves, then gets a call about a robbery at the electronics store. He responds in an official capacity (they don't recognize him), takes a statement, walks out, and throws the statement in the garbage. "And that to me is the Bad Lieutenant, you know?" Ferrara said. 

9. THE BASEBALL PLAYOFF SERIES IS FICTIONAL.

The Mets have battled the Dodgers for the National League championship once, in 1988. (The Dodgers beat 'em and went on to win the World Series.) For the narrative Ferrara wanted—the Mets coming back from a 3-0 deficit to win the pennant—he had to make it up. He used footage from real Mets-Dodgers games (including Darryl Strawberry's three-run homer from a game in July 1991) and added fictional play-by-play. But the statistics were accurate: no team had ever been down by three in a best-of-seven series and then come back to win. (It's happened once since then, when the 2004 Red Sox did it.)

10. THEY HAD HELP FROM THE COP WHO SOLVED A SIMILAR CASE.

The disgusting crime at the center of the film (we won't dwell on it) was inspired by a real-life incident from 1981, which mayor Ed Koch called "the most heinous crime in the history of New York City." The street cop who solved it, Bo Dietl, advised Ferrara on the film and had an on-screen role as one of the detectives in our Lieutenant's circle of friends.

11. THEY DESECRATED THE CHURCH AS RESPECTFULLY AS THEY COULD.

Production designer Charles Lagola had his team cover the church’s altar and other surfaces with plastic wrap, then painted the graffiti and other defacements on the plastic.

12. IT WAS RATED NC-17 IN THEATERS, WITH AN R-RATED VERSION FOR HOME VIDEO.

Blockbuster and some of the other retail chains wouldn't carry NC-17 or unrated films, so sometimes studios would produce edited versions. (See also: Requiem for a Dream.) The tamer version of Bad Lieutenant was five minutes and 19 seconds shorter, with parts of the rape scene, the drug-injecting scene, and much of the car interrogation scene excised.

13. THE "SEQUEL" HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, NOR DID FERRARA APPROVE OF IT.


First Look International

Movie buffs were baffled in 2009, when Werner Herzog directed Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, starring Nicolas Cage. It sounds like a sequel (or a remake), but in fact had no connection at all to the earlier film except that both were produced by Edward R. Pressman. Herzog said he'd never seen Ferrara's movie and wanted to change the title (Pressman wouldn't let him); Ferrara, outspoken as always, initially wished fiery death on everyone involved. Ferrara and Herzog finally met at the 2013 Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, where Herzog initiated a conversation about the whole affair and Ferrara expressed his frustration cordially. 

Additional sources:
DVD interviews with Abel Ferrara, Anthony Redman, Randy Sabusawa, and Karen Kelsall.

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Big Questions
How Are Balloons Chosen for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?
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Getty Images

The balloons for this year's Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade range from the classics like Charlie Brown to more modern characters who have debuted in the past few years, including The Elf On The Shelf. New to the parade this year are Olaf from Disney's Frozen and Chase from Paw Patrol. does the retail giant choose which characters will appear in the lineup?

Balloon characters are chosen in different ways. For example, in 2011, Macy’s requested B. Boy after parade organizers saw the Tim Burton retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. (The company had been adding a series of art balloons to the parade lineup since 2005, which it called the Blue Sky Gallery.) When it comes to commercial balloons, though, it appears to be all about the Benjamins.

First-time balloons cost at least $190,000—this covers admission into the parade and the cost of balloon construction. After the initial year, companies can expect to pay Macy’s about $90,000 to get a character into the parade lineup. If you consider that the balloons are out for only an hour or so, that’s about $1500 a minute.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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