Once at a party, we broke the ice by answering questions about ourselves. When asked what my favorite food was, I panicked and said “sandwiches.”

Somehow the typical answers to that question that I could think of, pizza or steak, didn’t sound appealing, and I grasped at a broad food category that seemed normal in my head.

“Really? Your favorite food is sandwiches?” my friend asked curiously.

“Not really, but I couldn’t think of anything else to say.”

But why can’t sandwiches be my favorite food? Is it that strange of a choice? I really do like them. Nearly two-thirds of the lunches I’ve eaten in my life have included a sandwich.

Just think of all the ways you can customize a sandwich. The bread. The filling. The veggies. The condiments. Toasted or untoasted. A PB&J on white is a world away from a BLT on rye or an egg salad on a bagel. I don’t know if anyone actually eats egg salad on a bagel, but it’s an option.

Pretty much every culture has some type of sandwich equivalent: some kind of bread, tortilla, or starch, filled with something else. To me, foods like tacos and sushi are still basically sandwiches.

It makes sense that sandwiches are so common. They’re easy to make, easy to pack, and usually easy to eat. You might think that 3 different sandwich shops, Subway, Jimmy John’s, and Potbelly, couldn’t all survive on 1 college campus, but they can. Their sandwiches are quite different from each other, and almost everyone likes sandwiches.

Sandwiches may be commonplace, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be my favorite (or yours). They provide countless options, transcend geographic borders, and offer a perfect blend of flavors in each bite.

So the next time I’m asked what my favorite food is—which I’m guessing won’t be for a while because I’m an adult, not a second grader—I’ll be ready.


Featured image by Christie Guevara, CC0 1.0