Food blogger Sarah Zorn may have created the best sandwich ever

The Brooklyn Paper
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It’s the best thing on sliced bread.

Bay Ridge foodie Sarah Zorn’s high-end panini won top honors in the hotly contested Robicelli’s Gourmet Market sandwich tourney on Oct. 4, crafting an ethereal mound of imported prosciutto, roasted eggplant, roasted grape tomatoes, Brie, and a balsamic reduction atop a pressed ciabatta that earned itself a permanent spot on the Third Avenue eatery’s menu and, perhaps, the Brooklyn’s sandwich Pantheon.

The 74th Street resident — who named her sandwich “The Main Ingredient” after her food podcast site — beat out about 20 other sandwich creators.

And she did it by putting vegetarianism where it belongs — in the culinary dustbin.

Zorn’s original version of the delectable Dagwood featured heirloom tomatoes in place of the prosciutto — but she adapted her recipe after learning that Robicelli’s doesn’t waste time with the substandard fruit except during the height of harvest in the late summer.

“Robicelli’s very rightly doesn’t use tomatoes unless they’re perfect and prime,” Zorn said. “I understood where they stood regarding tomatoes, so I substituted prosciutto — and it tastes gorgeous.”

Deli owner Matt Robicelli — himself a cupcake genius — said Zorn’s sandwich surpassed runners-up, which included Asian-style and pub-influenced sandwiches, citing the saltiness of the prosciutto and its contrast to the warm Brie and the savory veggies.

“It was a great melody of flavors — hers was very unique,” said Robicelli, who told The Brooklyn Paper he has already sold five of Zorn’s sandwiches.

Not only will “The Main Ingredient” be available on the menu at Robicelli’s for good, but Zorn will also receive one free sandwich from the Third Avenue eatery each week. (That’s worth real money, considering that the Zorn costs $8.99 each.)

Ever the foodie, Zorn promised to use the award to sample the entire menu, instead of just noshing on her own creation.

“Maybe I’ll order it the first time I go in there, but then I’ll just order it every once in a while to make sure that it’s still quality,” said Zorn, who also won a cool $100 in the contest.

Robicelli’s [8511 Third Ave, between 85th and 86th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 748-6804].

Updated 5:15 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Anne from Greenwood Heights says:
Wow, an unnecessary insult to vegetarianism, thanks. The article really was made no better with the insult, if anything it lessened the perceived credibility. Her choice to add prosciutto was because they don't frequently offer tomatoes, not because she suddenly decided that vegetarianism is wrong and must be stopped.
Oct. 8, 2009, 10:51 am
Kristin from Sunset Park says:
Totally agree, Anne.

Anyone who's been into Robicelli's knows they love their meat (bacon tattoo! bacon on some cupcakes!), but it doesn't reflect well on the market to have an otherwise fabulous and deserved nod to a fun and truly neighborhood contest made ugly that way.

And it doesn't reflect well on the reporter to use a year old link about a current event.
Oct. 8, 2009, 6:27 pm
BR from Bay Ridge says:
seriously, what was that all about? just because a meal happens to be made without meat doesn't mean that it's making a statement about dietary choices. have you ever tried pizza, that other food that apparently belongs in the culinary dustbin? yeah, i get that it's a joke but it's a really stupid one that adds absolutely nothing to the story.

the original version of that sandwich sounds great. i hope they put it on the menu when tomatoes are back in season.
Oct. 8, 2009, 10:54 pm
Mike from Bay ridge says:
Not a comment of this article specifically, but when I tried to look up the current Bay Ridge news on your website there were two articles about this sandwich and the police blotter.
Is there really nothing else going on in B.R. now besides crime and a new sandwich?
Can you please report some news?
Oct. 12, 2009, 6:51 am
Beth from bay ridge says:
What's it matter anyway since this store is closing. This contest must have been their last-ditch effort to save the store from going under. But it wasn't enough. Only thing that's been successful for them is their cupcakes, so they're going to focus on selling that to other markets now and close up shop here in Bay Ridge.
Oct. 18, 2009, 9:36 pm
RCG from Prospect Heights says:
First: Any sandwich that is made using white bread is an instant loser for me. A whole grain bread is so much tastier (and healthier), even just a plain old multi-grain bread is better than wheat. But, of course, sandwich vendors want to maximize their profits and use cheap bread, so they use plain white bread.

Second: I find all these anti-vegetarian claims and discussions pretty sad. If you are so sure about what you are eating is good for you, why do you need to so frantically convince others of it?
Nov. 19, 2009, 11:12 am

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