Since the shop specializes in cheeses and charcuterie, it’s natural that it offers sandwiches. Since the beginning, the sandwich aspect of being a cheesemonger has been one of the most difficult. Yes, I’ll admit it. It’s tough to make a Cellar sandwich. You have to gauge how much bread to prepare beforehand because it takes a long time to bake, and you can never tell how much you’re going to need in one day. I make about 3 baguettes usually, enough for 6 sandwiches, or a couple of sandwiches and a couple of cheese plates. Then, because everything tastes better fresh, we have to slice all of the meat and cheese to order. OK, I admit, it’s not a WHOLE lot of work, but if you’re making a sandwich or four, and you get a new table that wants to order wine and some charcuterie plates and such, and then a couple of people at the counter wanting four cheeses, the sandwiches can kind of slow you down.
Well, I knew there would be one day where my whole calculation system would be completely off. One recent Saturday was that day. We hosted a special event that afternoon, so I had prepared about eight sandwiches for that. But then, for some reason, it seemed like everyone and their mother and aunt (actually–that was kind of true…the neice of a customer came in because her aunt had raved about the sandwiches) wanted a sandwich. I was totally low on bread. Luckily, our owner was around and could toss in about 16 sandwich breads in the oven. WHOA. I was slicing meat and cheese ALL DAY! I had NEVER made so many sandwiches until then, and have never made so many since. It was so busy that day, the hosted event aside. Two owners were there all afternoon with me, just by chance, and we all ran around like fools the entire afternoon. That is wonderful, but we weren’t prepared for the onslaught! I’d never seen the shop so busy.
At the end of the day, instead of the usual three sandwiches, I ended up making about thirty. I smelled undeniably of salami and cheese, and I was starving myself, but I made it! I’m a sandwich champ.