We arrived back in Dublin yesterday, after living in the US for close to three years. It’s a strange feeling to come home, and given how hectic things were in the last couple of weeks before we moved, I don’t think I’ve really processed it yet. I promised a whole lot of people that I’d keep them up to speed on things, so I’ve decided to revive my blog as an easy way to do that.
For those of you who don’t know, this magnificent specimen is a Chicken Tikka Roll, and it may be the best thing I’ve ever tasted.
It’s not that it’s particularly good. The cheese is salty and has a rubbery texture, the tikka sauce doesn’t actually taste like a tikka masala sauce, and the best thing that has ever happened to that chicken is being covered in the dubious sauce. Those of you who have heard me rant about bread will be pleased to know that this bread was pretty great, but it should be noted that the crust of a Spar roll can be so crunchy as to lacerate the mouth of the unsuspecting. However, a Chicken Tikka and Grated Cheese roll has been one of my staple meals since I started secondary school. And you can’t get them in the US.
Most convenience stores (shops) in Ireland have a hot and cold deli counter, and most will have someone behind the counter who’ll make you a sandwich. The sandwiches are generally pretty passable, but there is nothing special about them – they don’t claim to be artisanal, they don’t use fancy ingredients, they’re among the least pretentious sandwiches you can find. My sandwich cost €3.60, and an expensive one (with a hot filling) might cost €4.50 (~$4.65). The simplicity of the sandwiches, and their ubiquity is something that I have sorely missed.
I went into that shop knowing I was going to come out with a mediocre sandwich, and that is exactly what I got. And it was perfect.