Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Smos - The making of ...

I was really surprised to see how many reactions my ‘smos’ post received! Thank you! I have no other option now than posting the recipe.

I’m not surprised though that you didn’t find the answer on the internet, because ‘smos’ is the Flemish dialect word for a … ‘Dagobert’!! Any clue what a ‘Dagobert’ is? Apart from Donald Duck nephews’ rich uncle.

What we call a ‘smos’ and the French call a ‘Dagobert’ is what is known in other countries as a … Club sandwich. I’m not sure we all use the same ingredients, but this is what our ‘smos’ contains:

A piece of baguette or, in this case, a mini baguette …

  Spread a generous layer of mayonnaise on the bottom half …

Put a double slice of ham (steamed/cooked/braised – style Jambon blanc)
 on top of the mayonnaise…

Top it with slices of cheese (style Gouda or Edam (from Holland) or,
if not available Gruyère or Comté)…

Next come finely sliced tomatoes from which you have removed the seeds…

… and then slices of hard boiled eggs …

Finish off with some freshly ground pepper and a few lettuce leaves (I didn’t have any last Saturday, but I put them on later at my mother’s)

Place the top half of the baguette to cover your ‘construction’ and gently crush the lot with your hands before eating it. Warning, don’t eat this with knife and fork but hold it firmly with both hands, gently crushing the bread as you eat along. Make sure to eat this over a plate or a napkin because, at some point, some of the trimmings and the mayonnaise will be dropping out at the opposite side from the one where you are munching your way down. This spilling is called ‘smossen’ in Flemish dialect. Hence the name: SMOS! You can’t eat a well-made smos without the spilling. If you can, it’s not a smos! (Okay, I admit it … it’s not a very civilized way of eating … but it is soooooo good. Believe me).

I hope I haven’t offended you and that you are still interested in making and trying this Club sandwich ‘smos’-style.

Remains the question why a smos is called a Dagobert in French. Any suggestions? 


20 comments:

chm said...

Thank you, Martine, for the recipe. It looks and sounds very good. I'll try it. As why it is called a Dagobert in French, I have no suggestion, since that king is only known for having put his shorts front side back!

It's from a medieval popular song:

"C'est le bon roi Dagobert
Qu'a mis sa cultote à l'envers.
Le bon saint Éloi,
Lui dit: Ô mon roi,
Votre majesté
Est bien mal culottée.
C'est vrai, lui dit le roi,
Je vais la remettre à l'endroit."

ladybird said...

Chm, LOL! I'm sure you will enjoy it. But watch out, it can be a bit hard on the teeth! Btw, I have a personal theory on why this sandwich is called a Dagobert. But I'll reveal it later :)

Ken Broadhurst said...

I think Dagobert is the French translation of the Dagwood comic book character in America. Dagwood and Blondie. Dagwood was famous for making mile-high sandwiches.

chm said...

I should have mentioned that saint Éloi was Dagobert's Prime Minister, as we would say nowadays. He his also the patron saint of jewelers. He was probably one himself. Was he in charge of "Les diamants de la couronne"? I have no idea!

chm said...

P.S. Should have proofread the song. It's "culotte" and not "cultote". LOL

ladybird said...

Ken, Thanks for the tip! I'll look it up because I like to 'impress' my colleagues with 'insolite' stories like this :)

Chm, In Belgium St. Eloi is the patron saint of the black smiths and hence people working in the hardware (not IT but 'Quincaillerie') sector. I met C. at a St. Eloi party in the eighties when we were both working with a famous Swedish tool manufacturer. Those were the days!!! ;)

Carolyn said...

Your smos looks wonderful, tasty and juicy. Squeezing it to compress it is a nice touch that I'll have to remember next time I make a slippery, juicy sandwich.

I think the same as Ken, that Dagobert is a takeoff on the Dagwood sandwich. But a smos isn't the same as a Dagwood or club sandwich in the US. We don't use baguettes here that often! Club sandwiches and Dagwoods are both made with sandwich bread (square).

Carolyn said...

Looking back at yesterday's post I see you mentioned toast cannibale. I have to ask--what the heck is that!

Also, I just realized that Donald Duck's uncle in the US is Uncle Scrooge. Maybe in Belgium you'd call somebody rich "Dagobert"? And the sandwich is rich?

Or maybe, following chm's tip, it's a backwards sandwich.

Yes, I could google it but this is more fun.

Bob said...

in the US that's basically a "sub" (short for submarine) sandwich. Unfortunately our sub rolls are soft and nothing like your bread, which I definitely prefer. You can make it with any incredients you want. Often they will then be put in an oven to be baked a little to make the crust a little crispy. I would much prefer your "smos" as compare to our sub. You need to try "poboys" from New Orleans where they use seafood instead of beef, chicken or pork.

Ken Broadhurst said...

So where does the name 'smos' come from?

Louise said...

What a fun way to start my day reading all these comments! The Smos looks delicious, and as I have a house full of workmen for whom I am making lunch I think smos will be on the menu today!!

VirginiaC said...

Yes, we call them subs here (short for submarines) and I make them with a mini baguette bread called a hoagie. I use all kinds of different fillings....they're tasty.

Susan said...

It looks good, but nothing like what I grew up with as a club sandwich, which is always cold roast beef and 3 slices of square sandwich bread so that you get a double layer of filling. There's lots of other filling put on the beef and the sandwich is pressed, cut into 3 rectangular pieces and the crusts cut off for ease of eating.

What you've made would just be called a filled baguette -- no special name.

Nadege said...

I love all your commenters suggestions! This is a lot of fun! And thank you for your explanation of a snack bar. I never heard of a "Dagobert" sandwich, but I do remember the song.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I have no idea about Dagobert and Donald Duck at all .

But I am with Susan , we know a "club sandwich" as being made with 3 slices of bread and fillings,, we would call yours a filled baguette.

I have just googled and found this interesting post written by an American in Belgium ,,

http://www.fansofflanders.be/Categories/Blogs/8_April_2013/24042013_Diana_Goodwin

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

And I now know the answer. If I am challenged with something like this , I will google search until exhausted all avenues :-)

Bob said...

I made one last night for dinner. I thought it tasted delicious.

chm said...

Re-reading your recipe for Dagobert, it made me think of that Provence and Nice specialty: Pan-bagnat. The ingredients are somewhat different, but the result is about the same: delicious. Here is a link.

www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-bagnat

ladybird said...

Carolyn, A toast cannibale is a slice of toasted or grilled bread with a nice spread of 'américain' = a spicey tartar of beef, flavoured with an egg yolk, finely chopped onion, capers, pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. It's served with a side salad of lettuce, tomatoes and pickled gherkins.
I share your idea about the origine of the name Dagobert, but haven't found any proof ... yet :)

Bob, I'm glad you enjoyed your 'smos'. Will you be using the name in the future to impress your friends (lol) !

Ken, 'Smosse'n in Flemish means 'to spill'. And you can't eat this baguette without 'smossen'/spilling.

Louise, Did your workers enjoy their smos and dis you tell them where the idea came from?

Virginia, These mini-baguettes are perfect to improvise, using all kinds of ingredients. I just don't like the two hard bits at the ends. They can be a bit rough on the teeth and the pallet.

Susan, This filled baguette may not have a name in France or elsewhere, but in Belgium it is known as a 'smos'. You can walk into any snack-bar here and ask for a 'smos' and they'll know what you want. So much easier than having to list all the ingredients ;)

Nadege, It is fun, isn't it? I'd never expected that writing about a smos would cause so much 'commotion' world-wide!!

Anne, Thanks for the link. It was a great post by Diana; well-written, very accurate and really interesting. I've left a comment but she hasn't reacted to it yet. Did your google research reveal anything on the origin of the name Dagobert?

Chm, I made a bagnat a few weeks ago, using smoked salmon (my mother is not too keen on Tuna), eggs, tomatoes, lettuce and garlicky anchovy (no olives, again because my mother doesn't like them). Before putting on the ingredients I soaked both halves of the special bagnat bread in olive oil. No mayonnaise this time. Yummy!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi I googled Dagobert origin , and it came up with this ..

A dagobert ( Belgicism ) called "club" in Brussels is in a part of the Walloon Region , a sandwich made ​​of baguette topped with ham , decorated with cheese (often Gouda ) and many vegetables to choose from: lettuce , sliced gherkins , small onions , pickles, tomatoes , eggs hard, cucumber , carrots grated (sometimes mixed with celery root grated also), all seasoned mayonnaise .

Its name comes from the American comic strip Blondie , whose husband Dagwood named Dagobert in the French version, regularly prepares gigantic sandwiches.