Toasted Salami Sammie

Food is fuel, plain and simple. If you and I really had to, we could theoretically eat at McDonald’s three to six times a day and live. Variety is not a requirement for a sustained existence. And once food is converted to glucose and hits the bloodstream to power your trillion little buddies, your body really has no idea how bad that McRib tasted.

So why do we crave certain tastes and demand wide varieties of food so badly? What biological advantage is there in traveling hundreds of miles into the ocean, yanking a fish out, relieving it of its roe, and putting it on a cracker? What’s wrong with the roots and berries in our own backyards? And most importantly, what does this have to do with toasted salami sammies?

Well, I’ll tell you what. It’s a literary device known as “contrast.” See, most people crave interesting tastes, vast varieties of food, and caviar. I, on the other hand, am not most people. I have a very limited palate and don’t mind eating the same thing over and over and over. Especially when its a yummy, yummy toasted salami sammie. Read and prepare to be enlightened.

The ingredients are simple: salami, cheese, bread and a big wooden stick. It’s the quintessential sandwich. What more does one need?


I recommend rye bread. If you don’t have any (or just don’t like it) then you can always use a washcloth. That’s just my way of saying, “not using rye is not an option.”

But the true key to an extraordinarily successful sandwich lies in two marvels of modern technology: the toaster oven and the microwave. Technically, you don’t need both, but the result just isn’t the same. First, put the bread in the toaster oven. Set it on … um … “toast”. I really have no idea what I set it on, as long as all the heating elements turn orange.


Next, put the salami slices in a single layer on a paper towel and microwave on high for one minute. This is a crucial step. If you remember high school physics, you know that matter can exist in four states: “solid”, “liquid”, “gas”, and “crispy bacon.” Nuking the salami sucks all the gratuitous fats out of the salami and you’re left with pure meaty goodness. When you open the microwave, take care! All that smoke is pouring out because your microwave has been high for one minute:


Here’s a close up of the salami as it transitions between its “solid” and “crispy bacon” states:


The next step is simple assembly. Put the cheese on the salami, and the salami on the toast already in progress. Insert into toaster oven. You’ll know it’s done when the cheese bubbles, the bread browns, and people from all over your office descend upon the kitchen asking, “What’s that wonderful, wonderful smell?” This is the point where you take the aforementioned stick and beat them off with it.


This last photo shows you running down the hallway back to your office with a dozen people in hot pursuit, some of them wounded and all of them gnawingly hungry. You must not let them catch you.


Throw one half of the sammie down the hall as a diversion. As the crowd follows that one, take your remaining half and dive under your desk. Start eating! For better or worse, it’ll all be over in about a minute. Then spend the rest of the afternoon daydreaming about tomorrow’s toasted salami sammie and whether or not a taser might be in your budget.

18 Responses to “Toasted Salami Sammie”

Fattygetsfit said
November 11, 2008 at 5:37 am

sounds amazing
much better than the boring meal that i have for lunch today

Biz said
November 11, 2008 at 7:39 am

That does look good! Hannah had hard salami sandwiches for lunch every day for TWO YEARS! I finally took her to Whole Foods (pre-araanged) and she taste tested about a dozen different lunchmeats, all of which she said she liked!

When I asked her what she wanted me to get, she said: “hard salami!” So again, the hard salami, muenster cheese sandwich was her lunch every day for about three more years!

Emma B said
November 11, 2008 at 8:02 am

Add some hot english mustard and pickled onions, and that’s my favourite could-eat-it-everyday sandwich 🙂

Bonnie said
November 11, 2008 at 9:32 am

Ummm…Charlie….and how many WW points is in this sammy?

Megan said
November 11, 2008 at 9:37 am

This brought back memories from childhood. I haven’t had salami in years!

Deborah said
November 11, 2008 at 9:40 am

Well, you’ve got my mouth watering. And I DON”T HAVE ANY SALAMI or RYE BREAD in the house. UGH!!! Guess I’ll have to make a grocery run tomorrow, if I can wait that long.

I love salami and know it is fatty so I have avoided it on this looooong trip. Now you’ve shown me a way to enjoy it. Thanx!

Bonnie said
November 11, 2008 at 9:42 am

Oh and Charlie….you are SO funny! (Really, I had to leave another message because on the last one, I got my website URL wrong..haha)

Madison said
November 11, 2008 at 11:33 am

yum! i gotta say though, i hate rye bread…i have bad childhood memories of eating rye bread and almost throwing up – at least i think it was rye bread!

honi said
November 11, 2008 at 12:16 pm

ahhh one of my favs that I have not had in YEARS.. enjoy it though… Salami and me.. we are not friends anymore..

Tom Rooney said
November 11, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Fantastic food source Charlie. I have those same coworkers lingering around whenever a hot corned beef sandwich on rye (could it be anything else?) is created in our kitchenette at work. If you do it right, the smell may permeate the room for 2 or 3 hours after. Going back in there just for a whiff takes you back to lunchtime all over again.

Jennifer said
November 11, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Have you ever done that with pepperoni slices? Place as many pepperoni chips as you want on a paper towel, nuke for about 30 seconds and they become pepperoni chips! Crunchy and yummy. You can eat them like that, or put some on a salad. Either way, it is totally deluxe!

Oh She Glows said
November 11, 2008 at 3:01 pm

I’ve always wondered…. what exactly IS salami?

Charlie said
November 11, 2008 at 3:38 pm

It’s actually an ancient Sanskrit word from the roots “sala” and “mi” meaning, “Yummy yummy” and “meat product”.

MaryB said
November 11, 2008 at 4:18 pm

“If you remember high school physics, you know that matter can exist in four states: “solid”, “liquid”, “gas”, and “crispy bacon.”


Anne (Happy Fun Pants) said
November 11, 2008 at 9:10 pm

I am not kidding you…you just may tie David Sedaris as the funniest man ever. Seriously – I love your blog – it is such a treat.

Now, I’m off to buy your book, start a fan club, and then start being that super annoying person that starts sentences with “Charlie says…” And I mean that in a non-“Simon Says” sort of way.

Charlie said
November 12, 2008 at 7:00 am

you just may tie David Sedaris as the funniest man ever.

Wow. Now I want to give you a big hug.

johngl said
November 12, 2008 at 3:49 pm

I am most definitely one of those folks who crave”vast varieties of food, and caviar.”

However, I too am a fiend for Charlie’s salami. Uh, wait, that doesn’t sound quite right.

Regardless, I have actually made salami chips for parties. Get them to the “crispy bacon” state by either nuking them there or dropping vast quantities into a vat of boiling oil.

For a twist, serve a salami bruschetta (a salami chip with mozzarella, sautéed tomato bits, basil, and a tiny bit of olive oil). Atkins fans go nuts for this stuff.

Tuscanystone said
November 17, 2008 at 7:43 pm

I see you’re following a low fat, low carb, low calorie diet Charlie….lol

You know that day when you put on 3lbs in 3days? you didn’t by chance have salami & cheese sarnies for lunch, did you?

You’re so cool – I’m new to your blog and love it already – thanks!

Tusc :o)