Last Saturday morning, in our Introductory II class, we hosted a small feast.
Students in that group have been reading the first volume in the popular Melvin Beederman series: The Curse of the Bologna Sandwich (TCotBS). In the fictional universe that Greg Trine has crafted, young children like Beederman (who was recruited from an orphanage) receive a few years’ worth of training at a Superhero Academy and are then assigned to locales in dire need of caped crusaders.
Speaking of capes, Beederman and his fellow Superhero Academy alums derive their powers from the capes they wear (furnished by the school) and if one of them loses their cape, they’re back to being a normal, non-super kid until they can recover it or get a replacement. As Melvin learns in TCotBS, unintentional cape swaps can be a real source of aggravation (and a convenient sub-plot for the author). Each superhero also has a unique weakness and being in proximity to whatever that may be saps their strength.
In a flashback, readers learn Melvin’s weakness. A stroll past a deli practically conked him out and his classmates swung into action, obtaining samples of all of the sandwich ingredients used at the deli and exposing him to each of them in turn until they found the culprit: bologna aka (baloney). In the relevant passage, a particular sort of sandwich is mentioned more than once and, each time, described as particularly delectable.
In class, that prompted some obvious questions: What is pastrami? Is it really as scrumptious as the author seems to be claiming? While pastrami is available here in Hong Kong, it’s an exotic foodstuff that few will ever encounter under ordinary circumstances and none of our young learners had ever tasted the stuff.
There was nothing for it but to obtain some pastrami sandwiches and carry out a taste test! In the photo that tops this post, Kenneth H. is mere moments away from sinking his teeth into his first-ever pastrami sandwich. Morty’s Delicatessen, to the best of our knowledge, sell the tastiest and most extravagantly pastrami-packed sandwiches in the city. We ordered several and, judging by the empty plates and the smiles on our students’ faces afterwards, they were a hit.