2012: The Year In Sandwiches

Time marches on, but through it all, there is one constant: the sandwich. And this year we ate a lot of them.

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Our year in sandwiches started back in January, when we took a look at all the green chile cheeseburgers in New Mexico. Then we headed back to the east coast for some smoked fish, ate pastrami in Boston, journeyed down to New Orleans for some muffuletta, and went all the way to Florence for a bollito bagnato.

But after all this eating, what really is it that makes a truly great sandwich? Fresh bread, the right proportion of fillings, and a little bit of love go a long way. But there's something else at play here, too; a truly great sandwich isn't just something you scarf down. Like a well-composed plate, an expertly assembled sandwich can be a work of art unto itself, showcasing the skills not only of the person who assembled it but also the brains behind it. And after eating a great sandwich, you'll want to give both of those people a hug.

But what exactly counts as a sandwich? Some would argue that hamburgers and hot dogs aren't sandwiches, but we believe that those are in fact quintessential sandwiches, the most famous of all. And even though the generally accepted definition involves bread, you'll find one sandwich (the Jibarito) that replaces bread with crispy fried plantains. So come along for the ride through a year of really good sandwiches. If you come hungry, you'll be starving by the time you reach the final slide. But that will be a good thing.