Dear Senator Schumer –
My family and I have always seen you as a man of the people, standing up for causes that are complex and world-spanning – but also for simple causes that affect us each day. I write to you about an issue that may fall into the latter, nonetheless hoping that you and your team can take some time in your important agenda to consider this issue.
My family, most notably my wife, enjoys pressed sandwiches and paninis very much. They pack the full flavor of a sandwich into a form that is easy to handle and elevate an otherwise normal sandwich into a warm, crusty, handheld meal. But we all know the most important feature of a proper pressed sandwich/panini is the fact that it’s pressed down, allowing the eater to bite all layers of a sandwich with ease. This is particularly valuable for smaller children and those afflicted with TMJ (as is my wife). These are social and health issues many families in New York face.
Unfortunately, my family has experienced vast inconsistency in the amount of pressing that occurs in food purported to be a panini in the great state of New York. Some restaurant menus claim to offer a panini, but in actuality, it’s just a toasted sandwich. Or sometimes it is pressed, but the sandwich being pressed is a regular hoagie! No amount of pressing will make a hoagie a panini! I’m sorry, this type of false advertising just not okay.
Government historically has taken an active role in food labeling ensuring that organic food meets certain standards and that meat is of the quality purported. The debate rages about GMOs, but what about paninis? If organic food has to be “organic,” then why shouldn’t something being called a panini be a true panini?!
I have done some research and learned that the NY State government has not been afraid to legislate sandwich law in the past, with the passing of tax laws that legally define a sandwich (Tax Bulletin ST-835 – TB-ST-835). If you can define “sandwich” and enforce laws around it, why can’t you do the same for the panini?
I would like to meet with you or a member of your staff at your earliest convenience. I know that you are busy, but appreciate any help you could provide in stopping New York’s panini fakers.
P.S. This is what a REAL panini looks like.