The Seamy Panini

Cameron Hines

When I arrived at UNH, I was excited by the prospect that I’d be able to have many newfound freedoms, including being able to dictate my diet. I was even more excited when I discovered that I’d be able to dine on a panini here. Oh, if only I wasn’t so naïve, as I’ve quickly discovered that no one here who makes our food understands what a panini is.

On my first trip to Sandella’s, I had high expectations: I’d heard many great accolades about Sandella’s from my friends, so I was eager to sample their menu. I stepped in, ordered a Texas Café Panini (which is delicious) and awaited for my delicious grilled sandwich to arrive.

As my number was called, my heart skipped a beat as I sauntered over to claim my savory delight. I stretch out my eager hand, and in it is placed…a toasted wrap. I was stunned. My long-expected sandwich was nowhere to be found.

But no worries, I’d remembered seeing a sign at Jazzman’s saying they made paninis as well. They don’t, but they did make a disappointing toasted sandwich.

Now, I am a man of simple tastes (pun intended), and I don’t bother easily. But when I have something I want flaunted in my face and then denied on multiple occasions, I get a bit annoyed. For those of you who don’t know what a panini is because you’re only familiar with our school’s “paninis,” I’ll fill you in on what a real one is.

A panini is a sandwich that’s typically filled with deli toppings. The sandwich is grilled, and that’s what makes a panini so appetizing. The grill makes the sandwich delicious in a way that toasting it otherwise wouldn’t do. And the bread is typically served on ciabatta bread or a baguette.

Before I got to UNH, I didn’t crave a panini the way I do now. It’s the fact that I have been taunted and tantalized by the prospect of a panini, that now I want nothing more but to finally have one. If I were to step into a Panera at this point, I’m worried I’ll buy the whole stock of paninis out. But until then, I wait longingly for that fabled sandwich known as a panini.