“Bum cheese on rye with ham and prosciutto
Got more Louie than Philip Rizzuto”
I had good intentions, probably two years ago now, to make a Beastie Boys inspired lunch of “bum cheese on rye with ham and prosciutto”. I Googled the best rye bread recipe and managed to colossally balls-it up. I took a picture, but it’s been deleted or lost somewhere, and to be honest, after that experience, I can’t face attempting to make it again. Use your imagination – imagine watering down a loaf of wholemeal bread to form a wet mulch, and kneading it into a load of wet shredded cardboard and baking it until it looks absolutely nothing like rye bread at all. So this time, I opted to walk at pace to my local Co-op and buy a ready made loaf of the stuff.
Since I’d already abandoned this blog post idea for over a year, I didn’t want a quest for perfection to hold me back any longer. I was already in the Co-op, so I was going to take whatever else they had on offer. Italian prosciutto from the Co-op? That’ll have to do. I’m not a Beastie Boy, I can’t pop down to some deli in Little Italy, I’m in Oldham. Now for the ham. Thickly sliced and covered in wet, yellow breadcrumbs? Ham slices shaped like teddy-bear faces? Wafer-thin turkey ham? This won’t do. The best option was Parma ham, but this looked exactly the same as the prosciutto. The parma ham was only offered in an Italian anti-pasti meat selection so I splashed out. I’d now spent about 5 quid on very thin transparent meats that all looked like they’d make excellent Body Worlds merch.
What’s a good substitute for ‘bum cheese’? Surely any moldy cheese is going to smell like arse? There’s limited choice in supermarkets – there’s roquefort or stilton, but no sign of stinking bishop. I don’t even like stinky cheese. I like a boring, barely-even-cheese cheese. So, confession: I didn’t even buy any as it’ll only go to waste and I don’t like to waste food, I like to ensure it’s all hoovered up.
Since I had chickened-out of trying the smelliest cheese, I found a pathetic remaining chunk of cheddar in the fridge when I got home. I mean, it’s subjective, so I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there who think cheddar tastes and smells like arse, right?
I toasted it, because I’m one of those oddballs who likes their cheese melted or takes a hard-pass. You don’t have to follow my lead here, but the Beastie Boys didn’t go into the small print on how this sandwich would be served, so take some creative liberties here.
Plot twist: under the grill, the meat began to give off a stink. I may have copped out of the bum cheese, but I was still getting vague butt-vibes. I was on plan.
Verdict: It’s an average toasted sandwich at best, but there was a brief bum-smell despite skipping the heavy cheese. 5/10