the earl’s challenge: #3 — cubano sandwich [at “The Spotted Pig”]

8 Jul

The Spotted Pig

and now, for the medalists!

what do you get when you pluck an english chef from london, drop her in the west village, have her start an italian gastropub, and let her loose on a classic hispanic concoction? you get chef april bloomfield’s cubano sandwich at the spotted pig, and Lord, is it out-of-this-world good. the key to any good cubano–traditionally a toasted ham, pork, and cheese ‘wich– is the subtle contrast of textures, and in chef bloomfield’s take, those textures play off each other in an unprecedented manner. bloomfield’s cubano lovingly offers tender pork shoulder that is slow-roasted, brined, and cooked in duck and pork fat (!!!!); top-notch prosciutto di parma; pickled jalapeno peppers for heat and cutting acid; and super-gooey (and distinctively funky-smelling) aged and melted gruyere cheese, all served between a sturdy toasted roll. that melange of flavors and textures is the stuff of culinary dreams, a porcine specter destined to haunt my thoughts for a long time. this, my friends, is one of the most delicious things i’ve ever tasted (‘wich or otherwise), right up there with dad’s short ribs and mom’s potato salad–and it’s only #3 on the list! my tummy quivers with satisfaction and anticipation.

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