Since the Earl of Sandwich invented his namesake food, sandwiches have been a major fixture all over the world. From the bao of China to the muffalattas of New Orleans, from the corned beef sandwiches of New York City to the Mexican tortas, sandwiches are possibly the world’s most popular food. Follow these steps to ensure that you have a perfect sandwich — one that is varied in texture and balanced in taste. Of course, if all else fails, just go for a PB&J with the crusts cut off. On soft white bread, of course!
Make sure your bread compliments your filling. Hard-crusted bread holds up well to hot, meaty sandwiches, while softer bread works with salad fillings. Keep in mind that a softer, fluffier bread will become soggy a lot easier than crusty bread.
A layer of mayonnaise or butter gives flavor and creates a moisture-proof seal. It will keep vegetables from leaching moisture on to the bread, and it can prevent the bread from getting too soggy. A very thin layer of butter will be undetectable taste-wise and can also counteract salty ingredients like prosciutto or olive tapenade. On the other hand, a homemade aioli can take a starring role in a simple tomato sandwich.
Do you want fresh vegetables that add crunch and brightness? How about marinated vegetables for a velvety texture and luxuriously fatty component? Or what about pickled vegetables for tang and acidity? Whatever you decide, keep in mind that you want to switch up textures. Soft tuna salad needs acidic pickles and crunchy celery, while a dense meatball sub needs soft, fresh basil.
Fruit in a sandwich? Sure! This is a great chance to have a salty and sweet treat. Hot bacon and sweet peaches in a BLT, soft figs and hard pecorino cheese, and fresh turkey and sweet dates are all great and unexpected combinations.
Always choose the freshest meat that you can. Freshly roasted turkey is a revelation when you are used to the prepackaged deli stuff. Smokey liverwurst, rare roast beef, poached chicken, seared salmon, and imported tuna are all great choices.
The sky is the limit here! Jam, hot sauce, chutney, tapenade, even the crunch of a few potato chips!