ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And now, the big reveal, more anxiously awaited than the royal baby. It's the winner of our Taste of Summer Found Recipes contest. And joining me now is the judge of that contest, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED producer Melissa Gray, who's in charge of all of our Found Recipes items. Welcome back to talk with us about the three finalists and the winner of Found Recipes.
MELISSA GRAY, BYLINE: Thank you, Robert.
SIEGEL: You've been thinking about this a lot?
GRAY: I have been. I've had a lot of sleepless afternoons.
SIEGEL: Great responsibility. Let's go over the three finalists. First, listener Susan Jones and her strawberry trifle.
GRAY: Right. She told us about her anxiety over bringing a dish to a fund-raiser and not being a good cook. But then this recipe came to her literally on a breeze during recycling day.
SIEGEL: Next, listener Patricia Mulvey and her Ensenada slaw.
GRAY: A wackadoo story if ever there was one, Robert. It involved a trip to Mexico, a rock in the middle of the road, a borrowed car damaged, federales, drug-sniffing dogs and Maximo's auto repair and beauty supply shop, plus ultimately a friend who didn't care whether his car had been trashed as long as his friends were fine.
SIEGEL: And then we heard from listener Marti Olesen talking about a recipe called Diane's Dad's summer sandwich.
GRAY: Yeah. Really odd bird, that sandwich. It came from Marti's friend Diane, and it had thinly sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and onions between white cheddar cheese and crunchy peanut butter. And here's the thing: The sandwich has to be assembled in a particular order for it to work.
SIEGEL: I gather we had a couple of hundred messages from listeners who told us which recipe and story they think should be the taste of summer.
GRAY: We did.
SIEGEL: You arranged a taste test for the staff here. We all could sample the three finalists. So the results?
GRAY: The winner is Marti Olesen and her summer sandwich.
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UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) There she is, Miss America.
SIEGEL: Marti Olesen's summer sandwich. What about the trifle? I mean, it was rich. It was self-indulgent in the way that a summer vacation would be.
GRAY: You're so team trifle.
SIEGEL: I am.
GRAY: No. You are so completely...
SIEGEL: I was for the strawberry trifle.
GRAY: No. Here's the reason why Marti's sandwich wins. It is ridiculous and delicious. And I ate three of them. The crunchy peanut butter really does make a difference. It's insane.
SIEGEL: Well, as cucumber sandwiches go, it was all right. But the trifle actually was pretty tasty. The other one, the slaw, I thought was completely, you know, slaw.
GRAY: A lot of people like the slaw, Robert.
SIEGEL: I know they did. I'm just giving you my opinion.
GRAY: Well, anyway, it comes down to this: staying power. Diane's Dad's summer sandwich is the one I think most people will want to share with others. And this was borne out by the emails that were sent in. People were saying, you know, I saw this. I heard this. I thought eww. I tried it. It was delicious. And then I made it for someone else, and they thought it was delicious. And I'm going to make another sandwich. And we had the same reaction yesterday. There was a buzz around the table about this sandwich. That is the reason that I pushed it onto the pedestal.
SIEGEL: What buzz was there yesterday around the table?
GRAY: You were in the studio.
SIEGEL: I see.
GRAY: You did not hear the buzz.
SIEGEL: Right. It's a soundproof studio.
GRAY: These are soundproof studios, Robert.
SIEGEL: I couldn't hear the buzz outside. So it's Marti Olesen's recipe and story about Diane's Dad's summer sandwich that trumps even that wild adventure story across the Mexican border and is the winner of our Taste of Summer contest.
GRAY: Yes. Team slaw and team trifle, my condolences, but it's the sandwich.
SIEGEL: Well, thanks to everyone who participated. And, Melissa Gray, thanks a lot to you.
GRAY: You're very welcome, Robert.
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SIEGEL: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.