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0665 Types of Sandwiches

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 665: Types of Sandwiches.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 665. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Our website is eslpod.com. Go there to download a Learning Guide for this episode – and to make your life a little happier today!

This episode I hope will make you happy, or perhaps hungry. It’s called “Types of Sandwiches.” Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Geraldo: I am so hungry. When can we go eat?

Natasha: Just another minute and I’ll be finished here. What do you have a craving for?

Geraldo: I want a good sandwich, maybe a BLT or a pastrami on rye. Now that I think of it, a Reuben or a club sandwich would really hit the spot. I wonder if Nathan’s is still open.

Natasha: I doubt it. It’s really late.

Geraldo: In that case, maybe we can find a diner where I can get a French dip or a cheesesteak sandwich. I’d even settle for a tuna or chicken salad sandwich.

Natasha: The nearest diner is closed for renovations, remember?

Geraldo: What are we going to do?

Natasha: I know of a place that’s open and ready to serve.

Geraldo: Where?

Natasha: My place.

Geraldo: You can make me a good sandwich?

Natasha: You’ll have a choice of grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly. What do you say?

Geraldo: I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

[end of dialogue]

Our dialogue begins with Geraldo saying, “I am so hungry (I am very hungry). When can we go eat?” Notice this use of “go” plus a verb; it’s used in more conversational English. He could say, “When can we eat?” or “When can we go to eat?” but it’s possible, also, to leave out the “to” and say simply, “When can we go eat?” You might also say something like “I’m going to go play baseball,” “I’m going to watch a movie on television.”

Natasha says, “Just another minute and I’ll be finished here. What do you have a craving for?” “To crave” (crave) means to be hungry for something; it’s typically food, but you could also crave love or crave attention. It’s wanting something very badly, wanting it a lot. “To have a craving” – here the verb becomes a noun, a gerund: a “craving” – means to have a sudden, strong desire to eat a particular kind of food. When someone asks, “What do you have a craving for?” – and that’s probably how you would normally hear it, as a noun – they’re asking if there’s some specific food you really want. “I have a craving for lasagna” or “I have a craving for sushi” or whatever it happens to be.

Natasha asks Geraldo what he has a craving for. Geraldo says, “I want a good sandwich, maybe a BLT or a pastrami on rye.” “BLT” stands for bacon, lettuce, and tomato. A BLT is a sandwich that is made with bacon, lettuce, and slices of tomato – piece of tomato, typically on a toasted bread. So you have two pieces of toasted bread, you put the sandwich in between – that’s what a sandwich is – and you will often add something like mayonnaise on the sandwich as well. “Pastrami” is a type of meat made from pork, from the meat of a pig. “Pastrami on rye” is a sandwich where the bread is made from rye (rye). “Rye” is a grain; it’s something that you can make bread out of. Pastrami on rye is a popular sandwich that you could get, for example, at a New York deli. A “deli” (deli) stands for “delicatessen” – or is short for “delicatessen,” which is a small store that sells meat and cheese and often has sandwiches for sale. If you go to New York City, you’ll see a lot of delis, and pastrami on rye is the classic, we might say, popular sandwich that you can find there, among others.

So Geraldo says maybe he wants a BLT or a pastrami on rye. “Now that I think of it, a Reuben or a club sandwich would really hit the spot.” A “Reuben sandwich,” it’s spelled like the name Reuben (Reub – as in “boy” – en), is a sandwich made from many small pieces – small slices of corned beef, which is not beef. It’s actually another product, we would call it a processed product, made from pork meat. It also has a certain kind of what we would call cabbage – fermented cabbage called “sauerkraut,” and you put this between two toasted pieces of bread. That’s a Reuben, not my favorite sandwich. A “club sandwich” – I love club sandwiches – a “club sandwich” is made with three pieces of bread, so it’s like one sandwich on top of another sandwich. You have many different kinds of meats that would – or could go into a club sandwich, most typically it’s turkey, ham, and chicken. The meat is in a form we would call “cold cuts” (cuts). “Cold cuts” is when meat is processed; it’s put through a machine, if you will, and it comes out in very thin pieces, we would call them “slices,” and that’s what you would normally get in a club sandwich at a restaurant. You would also have tomatoes, lettuce, usually mayonnaise, perhaps mustard as well. I don’t like mine with mustard! Geraldo thinks one of these sandwiches, a Reuben or a club, would really hit the spot. “To hit the spot” is when the food that you are eating, or the drink that you are drinking, are very satisfying; they meet your need. You were very hungry and you go and you have your favorite sandwich and now you’re not hungry anymore, you say, “Boy, that hit the spot!” That’s exactly what I wanted; I am no longer hungry or thirsty anymore.

Geraldo says, “I wonder if Nathan’s is still open.” Nathan’s is a restaurant that he wants to go to. Natasha says, “I doubt it (I don’t think so). It’s really late,” probably late at night. Geraldo says, “In that case, maybe we can find a diner where I can get a French dip or a cheesesteak sandwich.” A “diner” (diner) is a restaurant – an informal restaurant that serves inexpensive, cheap food, usually sandwiches, soups, salads, maybe some other types of drinks. There’s no alcohol at a diner. It’s not a restaurant you would bring your girlfriend to, at least if you were on a first date – unless she really likes diners. Hmm, possible. There was a wonderful movie called Diner that was made in the 1980s, when I was in college, about American young men in their late teens-early 20s, which is how old I was when the movie came out. Diners are very popular in American culture; you will find diners in every city and every small town typically, and it’s a place where you can get good but not expensive food. There’s a diner I go to not too far from me over in Santa Monica called Rae’s (Rae’s).

In any case, Geraldo says that maybe they can find a diner – diners are often open until a very late hour, sometimes 24 hours a day – “where I can get a French dip or a cheesesteak sandwich.” A “French dip” is a sandwich that is made with a large we would call it “roll,” a large piece of white bread, and inside are slices – small pieces of roast beef. And typically, there is a small cup or a bowl that has something like soup in it, we would call at a “broth,” that is made from the cooking of the beef. So you take the sandwich in one hand and you put it into the broth – the soup, if you will; it’s not soup, it’s a liquid – and you then take a bite out of the sandwich, and then you dip it, that is you put it back in again, take it out, and continue eating the sandwich this way. The French dip, according to at least two restaurants here in Los Angeles, was invented in Los Angeles – it was first made here in Los Angeles. There are at least two restaurants that say they were the first to make a French dip. The one that I go to, which is located near the Chinatown area of Los Angeles where there are lots of Chinese restaurants and stores, but it’s not a Chinese restaurant at all, it’s called Philippe’s. A “cheesesteak sandwich” is a sandwich made on a long, white piece of bread, we would call it a “bun” (bun), and you put in small, thin pieces, or slices of steak – of beef, and on top of it you put cheese that is going to melt with the heat. It’s a very popular sandwich in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. If you ever go to Philadelphia, what you should get is a cheesesteak sandwich; that’s what they are famous for – one of the things they’re famous for.

Geraldo says, “I’d even settle for a tuna or chicken salad sandwich.” “To settle for (something)” is a phrasal verb meaning it’s not the thing you really wanted, but it’s okay. “I really want a pizza, but I’ll settle for some lasagna.” It’s not my favorite, but it’s good enough; it’s acceptable to you. “Settle” has a number of different meanings in English, some of those can be found in our Learning Guide. A “tuna or chicken salad sandwich” is a sandwich made with two pieces, or two slices of bread filled with either tuna, which is a kind of fish, or chicken, but it’s cut up and combined with mayonnaise and usually some very small pieces of onion, and there’s also a piece of or slice of lettuce and/or tomato that will often come on a tuna or chicken salad sandwich. I love tuna salad sandwiches!

Natasha says, “The nearest diner is closed for renovation.” “Renovation” is when you take a building, usually a commercial building, and you make significant or big changes to it to make it better. For a house, we would probably say you’re “remodeling” the house. For a building where a restaurant might be we would say “renovation,” but they’re basically the same ideas. Geraldo says, “What are we going to do?” because the diner that he wanted to go to is not open. Natasha says, “I know of a place (meaning I know a place) that’s open and ready to serve,” meaning you can get some food there right now. Geraldo says, “Where?” Natasha says, “My place,” meaning my house or my apartment, the place where I live. Geraldo says, “You can make me a good sandwich? Natasha says, “You’ll have your choice of grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly. What do you say?” A “grilled cheese sandwich” – I used to eat when I was a kid – is a sandwich that’s made of a piece of cheese melted on a toasted piece of bread. Usually you put the cheese in there and you put some butter on the outside, then you put it in a pan and you heat it up and brown the bread – make the bread brown and crisp, a little bit hard. That’s a grilled cheese sandwich. A “peanut butter and jelly sandwich” is, again, a sandwich that you would eat as a child probably more than as an adult. “Peanut butter” is a type of paste that is made from peanuts; it’s thick. “Jelly” is made from some sort of typically fruit, but it’s very sweet, and it is like the peanut butter, kind of thick. You put those two together and you get a “PBJ” as we sometimes call it, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It’s the sort of thing that children – young children can make on their own without any help, and it is also something that would be popular to, for example, take to school to eat at your lunchtime.

Natasha says, “What do you say?” meaning what do you think of my idea. Geraldo says, “I guess beggars can’t be choosers.” This is an old expression. “Beggars” (beggars) are people who don’t have money and ask other people for money, often on the street. You’re walking down the street and someone says, “Do you have a dollar?” That’s a beggar, a poor person without enough money asking someone else for some money. A “chooser” is someone who chooses. So the expression “beggars can’t (cannot) be choosers” means that if you are asking someone for something, you don’t necessarily have the opportunity or option of choosing; you have to take what they give you. If you ask someone for 10 dollars and they give you 5 dollars you can’t say, “Oh, no, no. I want 10 dollars.” You would take the five dollars; you would take what is offered to you, and that’s what Geraldo is saying. He doesn’t have any other choice; this is his only option.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Geraldo: I am so hungry. When can we go eat?

Natasha: Just another minute and I’ll be finished here. What do you have a craving for?

Geraldo: I want a good sandwich, maybe a BLT or a pastrami on rye. Now that I think of it, a Reuben or a club sandwich would really hit the spot. I wonder if Nathan’s is still open.

Natasha: I doubt it. It’s really late.

Geraldo: In that case, maybe we can find a diner where I can get a French dip or a cheesesteak sandwich. I’d even settle for a tuna or chicken salad sandwich.

Natasha: The nearest diner is closed for renovations, remember?

Geraldo: What are we going to do?

Natasha: I know of a place that’s open and ready to serve.

Geraldo: Where?

Natasha: My place.

Geraldo: You can make me a good sandwich?

Natasha: You’ll have a choice of grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly. What do you say?

Geraldo: I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

[end of dialogue]

No one likes a good French dip sandwich more than the writer of this dialogue for our episode today, Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, copyright 2011 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
to have a craving for – to have a sudden, strong desire to eat or drink a particular type of food or drink

* When Makiko was pregnant, she often had a craving for very salty foods.

BLT – a sandwich made with bacon, lettuce, and tomato slices on toasted bread with mayonnaise

* A BLT isn’t very healthy, because bacon has a lot of fat.

pastrami on rye – a sandwich made with many thin slices of processed pork on bread made from rye (a grain)

* This restaurant serves pastrami on rye with French fries and a pickle.

Reuben – a sandwich made with many thin slices of corned beef (a salty, processed beef product) and sauerkraut (a salad made from fermented cabbage), served on toast

* Henrietta made a big mess while eating her Rueben sandwich, because all of the sauerkraut fell out.

club sandwich – a sandwich made with three slices of bread, with many lunchmeats (turkey, ham, chicken) between the slices of bread, as well as tomato, lettuce, mustard, and mayonnaise

* The club sandwich was so big that Pietro had a hard time putting his mouth around it.

to hit the spot – for a food or drink to be very satisfying; for a food or drink to meet one’s need; for a food or drink to eliminate one’s hunger or thirst

* After being on the hot beach all day, a big glass of cold iced tea really hit the spot.

diner – an informal restaurant that serves inexpensive foods, often sandwiches, soups, salads, and milkshakes

* This diner has a 1950s theme, and the waitresses wear poodle skirts and roller skates when they take your order.

French dip – a sandwich made on a large white roll (bread), filled with many thin slices of roast beef and served with a small cup of the salty broth (soup-like liquid) made while cooking the beef

* I wish this French dip sandwich came with more dip. It’s delicious.

cheesesteak – a sandwich made on a long, white bun (bread) filled with thin slices of steak and topped with melted cheese, very popular in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

* If you go to Philadelphia, be sure to try the popular cheesesteak sandwiches.

to settle for – to decide that something is acceptable and that one will have, use, or do it even though it is not what one really wants; to have, do, or use something that does not fully meet one’s needs, but is acceptable

* I’d really like to schedule a one-hour meeting with Hank, but if he only has 20 minutes available tomorrow, I guess I’ll settle for that.

tuna/chicken salad sandwich – a sandwich with two slices of bread filled with a salad made from small pieces of tuna or chicken, mayonnaise, and finely diced onion, sometimes served with slices of lettuce and/or tomato

* Dina makes a delicious chicken salad sandwich with small pieces of nuts.

renovation – the act of making changes to a building so that it is more comfortable, more beautiful, or more functional and useful

* The school administrators are trying to finish the renovations before the fall when classes begin again.

grilled cheese – a sandwich made by putting cheese between two slices of bread, putting butter on the outside of the bread, and heating it in a frying pan or on a grill so that the cheese melts

* Grilled cheese and tomato soup is one of my favorite lunches on cold days.

peanut butter and jelly – a sandwich made by spreading one slice of bread with a peanut paste and the other slice of bread with jelly, jam, or preserves

* On any given day, about half of the students in Ms. Pebley’s classroom bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch.

what do you say – an informal phrase used to ask for another person’s opinion when suggesting an action or plan

* What do you say we have a pizza delivered instead of going to a restaurant tonight?

beggars can’t be choosers – an expression meaning that people who are asking for a favor or for another person’s assistance cannot be picky and need to accept what is offered

* After everything was destroyed in the fire, the family had to accept clothing they didn’t really like from friends, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Comprehension Questions
1. Which of these things could be eaten by a vegetarian (someone who does not eat meat)?
a) A BLT
b) A club sandwich
c) Grilled cheese

2. What does Geraldo mean when he says, “I guess beggars can’t be choosers”?
a) He doesn’t want grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly.
b) He’ll eat what she has offered, but it’s not his first choice.
c) He doesn’t think Natasha is a very good cook.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to hit the spot

The phrase “to hit the spot,” in this podcast, means for a food or drink to be very satisfying and meet one’s need, eliminating one’s hunger or thirst: “I was really hungry an hour ago, but that meal hit the spot.” The phrase “to put (someone) on the spot” means to ask someone a difficult or embarrassing question, especially in front of other people: “Why did you put me on the spot like that? Couldn’t we have talked about it in private?” A “weak spot” refers to something that one likes very much and has little resistance against: “Lauralee has always had a weak spot for lemon candies.” Finally, the phrase “to have a soft spot for (someone)” means to like someone very much, even when he or she does bad things: “Janet has always had a soft spot for her youngest son, even though he’s a troublemaker.”

to settle for

In this podcast, the phrase “to settle for” means to decide that something is acceptable and that one will have, use, or do it even though it is not what one really wants: “We didn’t have enough money to buy a really big house, so we had to settle for a two-bedroom, one-bath home.” The phrase “to settle (one’s) differences” means to reach an agreement and end an argument: “You two will have to learn to settle your differences without violence.” The phrase “to settle down” means to become quiet and calm: “You kids are making too much noise. Settle down, right now!” Finally, “to settle one’s bill/account” means to pay all the money that is owed: “Should I return the hotel room key before or after we settle our account?”

Culture Note
Sandwiches are popular in the United States. In addition to the sandwiches described in today’s podcast, you can find many other common foods that are made by putting something between two pieces of bread. Although these foods are similar to sandwiches, most Americans don’t think of them that way.

For example, “hamburgers” and “cheeseburgers” are sandwiches made with a fried “patty” (a round, flat, object) of ground beef or ground turkey, as well as ketchup, mustard, onions, lettuce, pickles, and/or tomatoes. “Hot dogs” are another type of sandwich made with a special, long white “roll” (piece of bread) that is cut in half, but not all the way through, so that it can be folded open and closed again. A “hot dog” (a processed pork product, similar to a long sausage) is put between the two halves of the roll and covered with ketchup, mustard, pickles and/or onions.

In recent years, American have become more concerned about how “carbohydrates” (energy sources found in bread and similar foods) can make them “gain weight” (become fatter and heavier), yet they still want to eat sandwiches. Food manufacturers and restaurants have responded by making products with thinner slices of bread or “low-carb” (with few carbohydrates) bread. Others have started offering sandwich-like foods where they’ve replaced the bread with a “tortilla” (a very flat, round piece of bread made from corn or flour, often used in Mexican cooking). When a tortilla is “wrapped” (folded) around vegetables and/or meats, the food is called a “wrap,” but it is basically still a sandwich. Sometimes food producers “take this a step further” (do something to an extreme) and replace the tortilla with lettuce leaves, making a “lettuce wrap,” but it is still similar to a sandwich.

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - b