If you’re a true deli fan, know that the following post may cause you to cringe, gag, and possibly retch in disgust and shame. For this news is worse than a glass of milk with a corned beef sandwich, and yet contains just as much evil. It hit me unexpected the other day, as I was walking down the street in Toronto with a friend. I saw it gleaming at me, backlit by neon, from behind a plate glass window. My heart sank. I wanted to smash the glass and burn the goddamn place down. The devil had arrived, and he was pining for deli’s soul.
Yes friends, the dark day has arrived…. Subway is now offering a Montreal Smoked Meat sub.
Ugh. Feh. Yech.
That’s right, Subway. One of the companies that has done more to drive the Jewish deli out of business than most others is now trying to steal the deli’s thunder. The reprehensible corporate douchebags in the marketing department have decided to appropriate our finest sandwich, crappify it for the sake of productivity, and sell it with chips or a greasy cookie to those who know no better. Bravo Subway, first you took pastrami to new lows in the United States, and now you are attacking the legacy of Schwartz’s, Lester’s, and the like. I didn’t think I could hate you any more after I ate that wretched frozen tuna sub in Israel five years ago, but once again you’ve proven me wrong. There is no low to which you won’t stoop. Next thing we know, that skinny putz Jared will be hawking chopped liver sandwiches on your tasteless multigrain loaves. Bravo. You’ve earned a special place in my hell.
Ok, you can all see I’m blinded by rage, so let me refer you to cooler heads at The Hour, an alternative Montreal weekly:
It’s not because the meat was so substandard (it was, falling somewhere between poorly corned beef and an insole), nor that the rest of the sub’s components bore scant resemblance to the traditional substructure of a true smoked meat sandwich (what cruel subterfuge to pass that off as bread!). What irks me is the continual subplot of countless chain restaurants to subvert cultural culinary icons through the substitution of bland, unrepresentative ingredients, often resulting in the subjugation of the gastronomic subculture.
Believe me folks, this isn’t just a rant against Subway. It’s a fight for the preservation of our traditional foods. One day, you want your children and grandchildren to know that Smoked Meat comes from the trained hands of a counterman in a Montreal deli. But if this keeps up, all he’ll know is that it’s one more fast food that has been distilled and simplified down to its shittiest essence. I’m not the only one piping up about this. Check out the Chowhound debate that’s raging against such an abhorrent violation of the laws of taste.
Rue this day.
* To those of you who don’t know, this is what a Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich should always look like