by Susan Russo

Quirk Books, $18.95, 300 pages

Thick as two slices of homemade bread stuffed with tasty fillings, Susan Russo serves up delicious fun in The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches: Recipes, History, and Trivia For Everything Served Between Sliced Bread. A writer for NPR’s Kitchen Window, Russo shares a varied compendium of sandwiches, po’ boys, and hoagies.

What sets these sandwiches apart? Everything. Russo acknowledges that the great sandwich debate makes it difficult to define what is or isn’t included in this meaty tome. For a sandwich to be listed, it must be served between two sides or slices of leavened eatables, unless it’s an open-faced sammie. With that in mind, Russo dishes up recipes and variations on a recipe’s theme for well-known sandwiches like the BLT and Hot Brown while introducing new concoctions, such as the Caprese Sandwich or the Spiedie.

The best part of this cookbook is the history lesson before each recipe. Russo presents culinary trivia and tidbits that make the book worth reading even if you aren’t a cooking fanatic. Add colorful photographs by Matt Armendariz and you have a complete book that’s good to the last bite.

Reviewed by LuAnn Schindler