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How about some dotcom sandwiches?

sHONALI MUTHALAlY
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The Internet gives you countless ideas about the wonders you can do with two slices of bread

Creative optionsAll you have to do is simply surf the Net to reinvent the humble sandwich
Creative optionsAll you have to do is simply surf the Net to reinvent the humble sandwich

The ‘Fanwiches' include Oozy Crunch Munch, The Octopus Chorizo Squeeze and Orange Chickenwich. The ‘Scanwiches' involve Nutella, Cream Cheese, Raspberry Jelly, Cinnamon Powder — all set on French toast. Alternatively, you can choose homemade roasted pork loin, maple-apple sauce, apples and sprouts on a toasted roll.

If you haven't yet harnessed the power of the sandwich, don't lose hope. You aren't doomed to a lifetime of soggy, lettuce-plasticky cheese-droopy ham languishing between two slices of supermarket bread. Can't think out of the box? There are plenty of people out there who are happy to do it for you on the Internet. After all the web is the natural home of loopy ideas that sometimes snowball into magnificent movements.

Innovative combinations

So how do you reinvent the humble sandwich? Try a combination of smart thinking, imaginative artistry and crowd-sourcing. We'll start with Scanwhiches (http://scanwiches.com/). Consisting of nothing but photographs of almost-clinically bisected sandwiches, this site offers scans “for education and delight.' In Gizmodo, the man behind it — Jon Chonko, a New York City based designer — explains how he cuts each sandwich and presses it against a scanner to illustrate every layer. The messiest he's ever worked with? “Eggplant Parmesan… I had to wipe the (scanner) down with a wet cloth afterwards.”

The site periodically runs Fanwiches competitions, for as they reason, “just like Reuben, Dagwood, and the original Earl, nothing can ensure immortality quite like a sandwich. This is your opportunity to create something that will carry your name forever. Whether it's an old family recipe that you want to make famous, or a peculiar preference that distinguishes your tastes from everyone else's, this is your chance to make it official and see it published in the Scanwiches book.”

Entries have to be unique and ‘eye catching: be it beautiful, hideous or just strange.” Finally, they must taste good. “The winner will be the one that has our judges asking for seconds.” I'm prepared to bet most of you have some original ideas of your own — it's inevitable with this, the most egalitarian of foods. It's quick, easy and cheap.

Which is why Julie Gurrola decided to make it the subject of an experiment in crowd sourcing, that is gathering ideas from web users all over the world. She's currently collecting pictures of people from all over the world with their favourite sandwich. Her instructions include “Be sure to show that yummy sandwich in whatever pose, place and outfit you want. (Please, no nudity).”

Julie says she chose the sandwich because it is something conventional, and ordinary. The blog, however, will be far from conventional. Talking of how the Internet is already full of recipes she says the difference is her project is more a social project than a ‘how to cook' diary. “It's about making a book with different people who all have one thing in common….What I want to see is how people try and make their sandwiches and pictures different, how they tell me a little about themselves,” she says. She adds that while ingredients and methods do matter, “to me the connection of the person with the sandwich is important. And how creative they can be.”

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