Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Seeking inspiration to fight the 'bland-wich'

Also from the West Coast, the "Make That Sandwich Contest" searches for America's Best Sandwich Recipes; Winner Gets $25,000

G.L. Mezzetta, Inc., a producer of imported and domestic peppers and olives, is challenging sandwich aficionados across the country to submit their recipes for the best sandwich ever.

Ever. A good suggestion would be the sandwich here that uses peppers, serrano ham and provolone cheese.

The Grand Prize winner of the Mezzetta Make That Sandwich Contest will receive $25,000 and a culinary trip and tour to Napa Valley, home of Mezzetta. Three runners-up will get $1,000 each. The requirement is to use at least two of Mezzetta's savory gourmet ingredients, such as Hot Cherry Peppers, Tamed JalapeƱo Nacho Rings, or Peperoncini.

"This contest officially marks the end of the boring sandwich," explains Jeff Mezzetta, president. "Mezzetta products add flavor so easily there's no reason to ever eat another bland sandwich."

Mezzetta was founded in 1935 in San Francisco's North Beach, and is considered part of the unique culinary heritage of the Bay Area, much like Dungeness crab and sourdough bread. Giuseppe Luigi Mezzetta, an Italian immigrant, began his business selling imported Italian specialties to North Beach markets. Four generations later, the company is still family owned and operated and still producing great flavor-charged ingredients including their best-selling item-and one of the most popular sandwich toppers ever-peperoncini.

Contestants can enter the Mezzetta Make That Sandwich Contest in any or all of four categories: cold sandwich, hot sandwich, vegetarian, and hero (submarine-style). The Grand Prize winner will be selected from the category finalists by a panel of culinary experts. Entries will be judged on appearance, taste, creativity, and use of Mezzetta products.

The contest begins May 26 (Memorial Day) and ends September 1, (Labor Day) 2008. A new Web site introducing the Mezzetta Gourmet Sandwich University, launches today and features complete contest rules, a compendium of sandwich lore and information, and an electronic entry form.