In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
"Dutch crunch bread." Say it three times in a row and you'll start salivating. There's the fun-to-pronounce alliteration, plus all the abstract connotations that spring from such a loaded name. Is the bread Dutch? (Cue all things quaint and old-fashioned.) Is it crunchy? Like an apple or a yuppie? (Cue sunflower seeds and spelt.)
I have entertained these hungry musings every time the issue of Dutch Crunch bread has resurfaced at SE World Headquarters (read: many, many times), but I never expected to confront the real thing. It was one of those magical California phenomena, like surfing and happiness, that we East Coasters could only experience through television.
Then, on one fateful, decidedly non-Californian November day, we discovered that Bouchon's sandwich selection included a Roast Pork on Dutch Crunch ($10.50). Visions of golden-crusted clogs danced through my head as I traveled the subway for this magical loaf.
It's a relatively normal-looking sandwich, layered with meaty slabs of roast pork and crisp slices of pickled cucumber. The bread is a narrow baguette whose tender, white underbelly is spread with sweet mustard—so if you haven't read its name, it's really an excellent sandwich.
But my San Fran-area colleagues were unimpressed with its lack of crackliness. Dutch Crunch bread is actually what happens when an unassuming roll is brushed with sesame oil and rice paste, giving it a distinctive flavor and crust pattern. This spotted exterior is the reason behind its other name: Tiger Bread.
Tiger bread? As soon as I learned this, my visions of jolly country loaves were replaced by a more sinister brand of bread, one with sinewy, bunched curves like a streamlined challah. I am finding this bread's multiple personalities a bit difficult to reconcile. And those who know the real Dutch Crunch reported that this wasn't quite it.