The art of the sandwich
March 30 2015
A basic sandwich is something between two slices of bread - but a good sandwich can be so much more. With some high-quality ingredients, and a little creativity, you can turn a standard sandwich into a gourmet feast - a dish that your customers will come back for again and again.
So, how do you create a delicious sandwich that stands out from the crowd? Here are our top tips:
Choose your ingredients carefully
A good sandwich is all about the ingredients, so be sure to choose high-quality items that are fresh and full of flavour. With many consumers now concerned about their health and issues surrounding how food is produced, it's a good idea to opt for organic and sustainable ingredients wherever possible.
While all the ingredients for a sandwich should be chosen with care, special consideration should be given to the bread. If you really want to make a sandwich memorable, only the finest bread will do - and it's a good idea to choose something a bit out of the ordinary.
Try to choose a bread that complements the other ingredients. For example, if your sandwich has an Italian theme, why not serve it on some fresh focaccia or a ciabatta roll? A loaf of dark brown rye bread goes well with pastrami and mustard, while breads may also contain ingredients like dried vegetables or seed toppings to add even more flavour and character.
Ham and cheese, turkey and mustard, roast beef and pickle - those are all wonderful sandwich choices. But they're also expected. If you want your sandwich options to be memorable, then you'll need to do something different.
For example, you could try mixing up flavours. For instance, lamb may not be the first meat that comes to mind when you think of Mexican food, or sandwiches, but its sweet flavour and tender texture works well with flavours like lime, guacamole and chilli powder.
Or how about flavours inspired by other locations? A Thai sweet chilli chicken sandwich, perhaps or maybe a bit of curry? Coronation chicken is a popular sandwich filling in the UK - it contains curry, mayonnaise, mango and chicken for a sweet and mildly spicy lunchtime staple.
Add flavour with sauces
The flavour and moisture of a sandwich is often boosted by inclusion of mayonnaise and mustard - but there's no reason other sauces can't be used to make your sandwiches something special.
Pesto, for example, goes very well on a chicken sandwich - especially if it's accompanied by slices of mozzarella and fresh tomato. Other options you might want to consider include barbecue sauce, honey-mustard dressing, hot sauce, mint sauce or a sweet teriyaki glaze.
To toast or not to toast?
That is the question. Toasting sandwiches can add flavour and texture to your sandwich, making it something truly remarkable - especially if the toasting process leads to melted cheese or enhances the other ingredients in one way or another.
However, sometimes toasting does not suit a sandwich, so use your best judgement. Alternatively, leave the choice up to your customers - everyone loves being able to customise their meal to their personal preferences.
What to serve with your sandwich?
While deciding how to construct your sandwich is an important part of creating a new dish for your menu, don't forget to think carefully about what foods should accompany it.
- Fries - Standard fries are a great choice for hot sandwiches, or why not offer something a little different, like sweet potato fries, tater tots or fries flavoured with herbs and spices?
- Chips - Plain potato chips go well with cold sandwiches, along with a dill pickle spear.
- Soups and salads - Combined with a soup or salad, sandwiches can be a filling meal. Many restaurants offer a range of soups, salads and sandwiches and allow their customers to choose their own combination.