The Earl of Sandwich

Yesterday we chatted about soup, naturally we will follow up with the sandwich. So what exactly is a sandwich? An old cliche I have been using for years, “if you can’t put it between two slices of bread, it’s not food”. Whatever you want it to be, in many ways it’s what you want it to be. They can be everything from your own style of comfort food to a famous classical rendition. Let’s have a little look at the essential components, some variations and a couple of standards.

What’s between the bread

  • Bread; no bread, no sandwich. Keep in mind bread implies many things. It could be anything from Wonder bread to Indian naan. Depends on the goal.
  • Primary fillings; meats, cheese, vegetables, pickles, the list is infinite.
  • Garnishes; sometimes the lines can be blurred between fillings and garnish. To me the garnish is the finishing touch. For example the LT in a BLT. So items like sliced tomato, lettuce, onion are garnish. Additionally condiments like ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise are garnish.

Preparation

This is where the definition gets tricky. Let’s look at some styles of preparation and examples.

  • Open faced sandwich; these can be fancy cocktail or high tea sandwiches, or the classic Swedish Smorbrod.
  • The two slice;. The options are infinite and are defined by personal taste and inspiration. They can be hot or cold, for example tuna salad vs grilled cheese or ham and cheese vs a BLT. Very difficult to define.
  • The three slice;. Not unlike the two slice, a classic example is the clubhouse.
  • Rolls, baguettes and submarines;. Another one that has infinite possibilities. Hamburgers, stuffed baguettes, hoagies, etc.
  • Pocket sandwich;. Not to be mistaken for something you throw in your pocket in a rush. These are your pitas or gyros.
  • International classics;. These are your restaurant style sandwiches. Many are North American re interpretations. Some examples include, the Reuben, Monty Cristo, French beef dip.
  • Ethnic sandwiches;. My favorite ones! More difficult to find outside of metropolitan areas. Some examples in order of my personal taste, Banh Mi, falafel, Cubano, churrasco, I could go on…
  • Miscellaneous;. Starting to think this list is endless…lol. there are a number of other styles that are technically also sandwiches, but are often forgotten. Hot dogs & sausage, bagels with lox, even ice cream or dessert style sandwiches.

Conclusion

If you Google it you will see an interesting statistic about sandwiches. American people eat 300 million sandwiches every day. That’s one sandwich per person every day of the year.I bet a lot of them are big Macs, lolol. Actually the standard is the ham sandwich. I’m sure you can be more creative than that. Have a great weekend, and take the time to make a healthy, delicious hand held beauty!