South African Gatsby Sandwich

South African Entree



2 cups frozen French fries
1 baguette, crusty roll, or hoagie
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable
5 baloney slices
3 tablespoons ketchup
½ teaspoon piri piri sauce or hot sauce
½ cup shredded iceberg lettuce

Serves 4. Takes 20 minutes.


Cook fries according to instructions on package. Cut baguette open lengthwise, but not all the way through. Put opened baguette in oven 3 minutes before fries are to be done. Take fries and baguette out when fries are done.

While fries bake, add olive oil to large pan. Heat oil using medium heat. Oil is ready when a bit of baloney starts to dance in the oil. Carefully add baloney spices to pan; oil is hot. Make sure baloney slice don’t touch each other. Sauté baloney for 2 minutes or until bottom of baloney slices brown. Flip slices and sauté for another 2 minutes or until the new bottom side browns.

Arrange baloney slices on bottom half of baguette. Then sprinkle fries over baloney. Drizzle ketchup and piri sauce over fries. Sprinkle lettuce over ketchup and piri piri sauce. Close sandwich. Cut sandwich into 4 equal pieces.


1) The Gatsby Sandwich looks a lot like a ping-pong paddle. This is not an accident. The sport of ping pong consumed the famed author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, all his life.

2) Indeed, the great writer littered his earlier works with ping pong imagery. His most renowned work in the niche ping pong, aimless rich folk genre surely must be Proud Priscilla Pernod and Paul’s Ping Paddle. Literary critics still debate his pregnant metaphors and why he ever wrote the novel.

3) Anyway, disaster struck in 1924 when Fitzrgerald was thrown out of the Paris Ping Pong tournament for using a corked paddle. Depressed permanently by this affair, F. Scott turned to writing once more and penned his magnum opus, The Great Gatsby, which has tortured high-school students ever since.

4) The son of one of these destroyed scholars moved to South Africa and invented the Gatsby Sandwich. Some see the sandwich as an homage either to The Great Gatsby or to ping pong. While others hold that the chef only had French fries, a baguette, and baloney on hand. Who can say?


Paul R. De Lancey

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

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