Le Sandwich Américain - "The Most Perfect Comfort Food Ever"

One night while eating a sandwich Americain I asked those around me to name one, any single comfort food that rivals the sandwich Americain? Some named fried chicken, some nachos, some mash potatoes, but in the end they all agreed that nothing rivals Le Americain (also known as a mitraillette in Belgium), with its "toasted, buttered, full baguette filled with at least 5 fast-food type hamburger patties, dripping with cheese, (Gruyère or Emmental) doused in ketchup, then filled to the brim with fries". I first heard about this gut buster from Shannon while studying abroad in France.

Le Sandwich Americain, (The American Sandwich) which is not to be confused with the steak tartare version common in Belgium, is perhaps the most brilliant and clever combination of ingredients and flavors anyone has ever created. Similar to the English's chip butty, the Americain's massive proportions are a joke upon American's girth as well as the solution to answer any and all food cravings. Of course I've always loved that in French the word for fat is "gros" as in "gross". On one hand I should be disgusted that Europeans believe that any human, especially an American could eat five beef patties and a full baguette. On the other hand, since I haven't ate in about 18 hours, spent an hour at the gym, and I'm staring at the photo above while writing this, the fat American in me makes me want to scream "Donnez moi".
Salty, meaty, bready,  and buttery.

I think even the French were surprised when they accidentally stumbled upon culinary comfort food of perfection.  Les Sandwich Americains are now sold served by street vendors all over France as take-out comfort food in mass proportion to both locals and fat Americans. Sold for about 5€ ($6.75) for a half of baguette (Le Petit), or about 8€ ($13.40) for a full baguette. Variants of Le Americain include adding a fried egg, and there's even a chicken version often called "Le Sandwich Mexicain", however the basic ingredients of any Le Americain are generally the same.

  • 1 toasted baguette
  • 5 hamburgers
  • butter caramelized grilled onions (with a bit of garlic salt)
  • romaine lettuce
  • tomatoes, and pickles
  • Gruyère or Emmental cheese
  • French fries (frites)
  • Any possible combination of mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup.

Le Sandwich Americain Recipe (Recette)
Grilling onions and frites.

  1. Gather the above ingredients along with some butter, oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Chop up your onion, take 1/4 stick of butter and sautee your onions till caramelized and brown.
  3. Deep fry some frites (french fries), and salt.
  4. Cook up some hamburger patties, seasoning as necessary.
  5. Cut the baguette, and add fresh pickles, sliced tomatoes and grilled onions.
  6. Place hamburger patties, and cover in cheese. Top with French fries and more cheese.
  7. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 375F for about 6 minutes. Remove, attempt to create some recognizable form of a sandwich , top with your romaine lettuce and condiments, then prepare toenjoy.

A true Americaine

To say that this sandwich is out of the world is to truly underestimate how good it is. It's more than just a hamburger on a baguette. It's the world record for awesomeness in comfort food. It's beauty on bread, art you can eat, its what other foods can only dream of being. Le Sandwich Americain is a crispy bread soaking with grease and butter- filled with the world's best sharp cheese and a "salad" to boot. It's sad but true that we Americans may have the appetite to eat it, but weren't smart enough to create it. Worse yet, most introverted Americans may never know this wonderful sandwich. However for those few who become aware of this masterpiece, the insult is worth a chance to lay our lips upon this gastronomical miracle.

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