Why Are There No Tramezzini In Manhattan? By Mara L.

I’m about to board a plane and get back to Manhattan, so this is my last entry to Jens’ blog from the lovely Mediterranean coast of Amalfi. I’ve been renting a little house here – that is, the island I mentioned last time, Procida. I’ve been rather immersed into one of my architecture projects for a while now. The culinary result of working hard *and* being in this house is: lots of tramezzini. For of course, even the most minimal kitchen equipment of a relatively inexpensive holiday rental down here is luxurious if viewed from the perspective of my starving life in Manhattan. You walk in, and the first thing you notice, with a heartwarming sensation that tells you you shall never go back to Manhattan, is a tramezzini grill.

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I asked a couple of my Manhattan friends, gourmets of the New York type (by which I mean: extremely well versed in the names and looks of all kinds of foreign food, if not always in how I think it should taste). They didn’t even know the word ‘tramezzini’! So what are tramezzini? It’s two pieces of tramezzini-toast, a variety of toast that doesn’t have the regular ‘rim’ that toast in the US has. In between you can put all kinds of things, such as arugula with parmigiano, or tomato, basil, and mozzarella, or whatever you like, and then it’s put into a tramezzini grill. Super simple. But with the bread and the cheese and the grill being perfect, the nicest computer lunch ever.

I spent about a month of my first stay in New York trying (a) to find a bar that serves tramezzini (forget it!), (b) an importer of tramezzini grills (forget it!). The disappointment that went along with these searches was mixed with disbelief – tramezzini seem like *the* Manhattan food to me, everybody would love them!

So I am asking all of you out there: Why are there no tramezzini in Manhattan?