Food & Drink

How to Make the Most Expensive Sandwich in the World

The bread is baked with Dom Perignon.
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In a column called "How We Are Ruining America," the New York Times's David Brooks wrote about the considerable barriers to social and economic mobility that are plaguing this country. But all anyone seemed to notice was one unfortunate anecdote, in which Brooks recounted taking a friend with "only a high school degree" to a gourmet sandwich shop, where he fretted that the "cultural signifiers" of "sandwiches named 'Padrino' and 'Pomodoro' and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo, and a striata baguette" had made her uncomfortable.

The two moved on to an apparently less offputting Mexican restaurant, but just in case Brooks decides to take another educationally-challenged friend out for lunch, may we suggest he avoid Serendipity 3 in New York City? According to the Guinness World Records, it serves the most expensive sandwich in the world. Here, the restaurant's creative chef, Joe Calderone, shows how the Quintessential Grilled Cheese is prepared.

Bread: French pullman loaf baked with Dom Perignon champagne that features edible 23K gold flakes

Coating: Grass-fed white truffle butter with gold flakes

Cheese: Thick slices of Caciocavallo Podolico, which is made by the Podolica cattle in Southern Italy. Only 25,000 of these cattle remain, and they graze on aromatic grasses like licorice, fennel, juniper, and wild strawberry that give the cave-aged cheese its sweet aroma.

Cooking Process: Grilled for three to four minutes on panini press

Side Dish: South African lobster-tail tomato bisque, served in a Baccarat crystal "Vega" glass

Plate: Baccarat crystal "Mille Nuits"

Price: $214

Advance Notice Required to Order: 48 hours

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Inspiration: "We wanted to create something incredible for National Sandwich Day, and there is nothing more American than grilled cheese and tomato soup," Calderone says. "So we went on a quest to create the ultimate grilled cheese. We found this amazing, rare cheese and needed to pair it with a great 'white bread' so we played with recipes of French pullman bread and decided to give it a sophisticated twist by adding Dom Perignon champagne instead of water. We added 23K edible gold flecks to make it sparkle. So now we had the sandwich part. Of course, we couldn't dip this sandwich into tomato soup! We created a San Marzano tomato lobster bisque using South African lobster tails to dip the sandwich into. Hard work, lots of effort, and a little bit of serendipity and we had a winner!"

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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