Grab hold of these sandwiches from around the world
Matthew Kadey, MSc, RD
Sandwiches will always be a lunchtime staple for many people, but if you’ve lost your appetite for the same old ham and cheese or PB&J, try something different.
In many ways, the humble sandwich can be the ultimate midday meal. When you pile homemade sauces, healthy proteins, and vibrant vegetables atop whole grain breads, you have the makings of a nutritious and delicious hand-to-mouth meal. Yet it’s all too easy to get trapped in a sandwich rut by falling back on the same old ingredient combinations—here’s looking at you humdrum turkey and cheese. Instead of letting your options get stale, consider a sandwich as a blank canvas that is ready to welcome all sorts of more inspiring flavour profiles. In fact, why not glean global flavour inspiration by making sandwich recipes from around the world? Culinary traditions from India to South America can all be used to guarantee no more yawnwiches. Time to bypass the deli counter and stamp your passport to flavour with these sandwich recipe from around the world. They're the best thing since, well, sliced bread. Oh, and they can shine as dinner options too!
Follow these sandwich building guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a power meal in your hands.
No sandwich should be one dimensional. The best creations will hit a few different flavour points (salty, sweet, sour, spicy) and deliver textural contrasts, like crunchy pickled vegetables piled atop roasted meats.
Toasting bread adds depth of flavour and acts as a moisture barrier to help prevent soggy sandwiches. This is especially important if you’re assembling sandwiches ahead of time. For sliced bread, use your toaster; items like ciabatta rolls or baguettes can be toasted using an oven broiler.
Slather condiments or sauces on both top and bottom slices of bread for more even distribution of flavour. From the bottom up, start with the most durable items, such as proteins, and then add cheese and your veggies. Making sure any greens are dry and not placing juicy items such as tomatoes directly against the bread can work to limit the risk of biting into soggy bread.
For brighter flavour, you can try tossing greens such as arugula or spinach with a simple vinaigrette (oil with vinegar or lemon juice) before placing on a sandwich.
To keep your made-with-love sandwich from squirting out like ketchup when slicing, use bamboo skewers to hold the sides in place and employ a sharp serrated knife to cut the sandwich down the middle.
For make-and-take sandwiches, tightly wrap your sandwich in parchment paper. The paper can be secured with a piece of tape. To create less waste for a more environmentally friendly option, sandwiches can also be wrapped up in a reusable cloth napkin and secured with string or even a purpose-made sandwich pouch made from material such as organic cotton. Or consider the malleable beeswax wraps made by Canadian-owned Abeego, which will wrap snugly around your sandwich. If needed, you can then place wrapped sandwiches in a hard-sided container to keep them from getting squished when being transported in bags, backpacks or panniers.
If meats or ingredients such as mayonnaise are involved, be sure to keep sandwiches chilled to limit food poisoning risk.