I love me the Louis C.K. This is super short, but spot-on. And heads up Louie, we call them kanapki.
Kanapki were a staple of every family excursion as a kid. Because God forbid we were en route to a mall or an uncle’s house upstate and one of us children reported experiencing the mildest sensation of hunger. Whether we were headed down the shore or up to a polka festival at Action Park, my mom would wake an hour early to prepare sandwiches as if, wherever we were going, they hadn’t yet invented food. Into a giant red cooler went a jar of pickles, a jug of iced tea, peaches, apples, whole tomatoes for slicing and stacks of kanapki, each one wrapped in paper towel like a little package, then sealed into what my mother calls “zippo lock” bags. Always, she made three times as many sandwiches as there were mouths to feed. It was as if she were stockpiling for an impending total breakdown of society.
As Louis C.K. points out, the kanapki really could be whatever was in the fridge. Kielbasa and a thick slice of tomato on rye. A chicken cutlet on a hard roll with a dash of A1 Steak Sauce. Roast beef and American cheese…on raisin babka. But always, and for reasons I don’t understand, a slather of Temptee whipped cream cheese. Standard. Always. A must. And it’s totally not a Polish thing. I’m thinking it was a double coupon thing.