Monday, January 12, 2004
Evelin's brother had decided to ride his bicycle from the Mid-Atlantic to Key West, and for some reason we were going after him. As we approached Key West by sea (there was some jump here, and I'm not sure how/why we got where we were), the bike path ended up being in Scotland. The path was elevated and we could look down into a pub where a ceilidh was going on and we decided to stop in for a bite to eat. The publican was shutting down things for the night (despite the rollicking party going on), but he agreed to let us buy one of sandwiches he had left over: there were six ham sandwiches (thick slabs of meat on a nice looking crusty bread) and a "Japanese-Swiss-American sandwich.” We asked what was on the Japanese-Swiss-American sandwich, so he pulled it out for us to look at.
It was a big platter with an open-faced sandwich using two slices of the nice looking bread. On one slice was a pile of American cheese, on the other slice was a pile of Swiss cheese, and wedged in between was a Japanese waffle. It looked like a regular (not Belgian) round waffle, bigger than an Eggo, but the same shape, and the publican insisted it was a Japanese waffle. I went to pay but only had U.S. currency, which he wasn't interested in, so I tried the ATM, which let me withdraw £200, but instead of dispensing bills, it printed out an envelope that would be used to mail me the cash. About that time I woke up.
Reflecting on things a bit, I have no idea what any of that means. Perhaps the "Japanese waffle" was wasabi-flavored.
Checking A Dictionary of Japanese Food Ingredients & Culture this morning, however, I find that there really is a Japanese waffle: たいやき taiyaki, a tai-shaped batter cake made in an iron mold. Tai (たい) is sea bream (a variety of fish mostly in family Sparidae); the dictionary doesn't give any ideas about what the batter is made from, but it does say that taiyaki are usually filled with an (ぁん), a "paste made from starchy pulses and sugar." [Photo courtesy and copyright Setsuko Yoshizuka, Japanese Cuisine]
Of course that still doesn't explain what the waffle was doing in the middle of a cheese sandwich in Scotland.
© 2003–2010 T. Carter Ross