Start by choosing breads and fillings that complement each other, then focus on condiments and other ingredients to make flavors stand out.
What's In a Name?
Sandwiches come in many shapes and sizes. The name given to a sandwich can change depending on the region you are visiting. In New York, a sandwich is called a sub or hero, but if you find yourself in Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, the sandwich is called a hoagie.
Sandwiches can be grilled or toasted (called a panini), rolled into wraps or served warm or cold. Almost any type of meat, cheese or vegetable can be added as well. Condiments are the most important ingredient on any sandwich, and often, gourmet sandwiches have homemade spreads.
Classic Sandwich Fillings
Sandwiches are most commonly a combination of meats and/or cheeses, vegetables and some type of sauce. If you're keeping it simple on your quest for a classic sandwich, try using deli meats such as ham, turkey, salami or roast beef. Some popular cheeses include American, Swiss, cheddar or provolone.
Vegetables are another important addition to any sandwich. Tomatoes are essential if you are making a tomato, mozzarella and basil sandwich (Caprese sandwich). Try to serve your sandwiches with the freshest produce possible to give each bite that extra added crispness.
If you enjoy a creamier sandwich filling, make an egg, chicken or tuna salad sandwich. Each filling uses a mayonnaise, salt and pepper base, mixed with either egg, chicken or tuna and a variety of additional vegetables and add-ins. Chopped onions and celery add an extra crunch factor.
Selecting Your Sandwich Bread
Certain breads go best with certain meats. If you are creating an Italian hero, always choose a crispy Italian bread from your local market or bakery. Traditional Italian sandwich fillings include salami, prosciutto, mozzarella cheese and roasted red peppers. A brie and tomato sandwich works best on crusty French bread or a baguette.
If you are creating a classic deli sandwich with ham and cheese or turkey, lettuce and tomato, you can use a variety of different breads. White, whole wheat or rye work well.
Slow cooked sandwiches such as pulled pork, a Sloppy Joe or brisket are often times best on a simple hamburger bun or hard roll. If you want an extra bit of bite to your sandwich, toast or grill your sandwiches.
Classic Sandwich Toppings
Meat, cheese and a piece of bread are not your only options when it comes to jazzing up your sandwich. Vegetables, sauerkrauts, dressings and spreads are essential in the creation of a classic sandwich.
If you are preparing a Rueben, corned beef or pastrami sandwich, sauerkraut gives your filling a much needed boost. A Reuben also touts special Thousand Island or Russian dressing. If you are serving a grilled chicken or turkey sandwich, avocados, sliced cucumber and sprouts are a fresh and crisp addition.
Try using fresh spices or herbs to give an extra kick to your sandwiches. A basil leaf, fresh cracked pepper, tarragon or parsley is always a welcome accompaniment to the top of your meats or veggies. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar on your tomato or mozzarella-based sandwiches.
The Gourmet Sandwich
Restaurants and upscale delis around the world offer gourmet sandwiches to hungry patrons. Gourmet sandwiches can range from a slow cooked, pulled pork sandwich to a moist chicken cordon bleu sandwich.
The sandwiches are usually made with specialty bread-such as ciabatta, semolina or pumpernickel. They'll be filled with different meats, cheeses, veggies and an authentic spread.
Celebrate the Sandwich
National Sandwich Day is November 3. The day mark's the anniversary of John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich's birthday. Montagu requested his staff bring him meats in between two slices of bread so he could continue playing a gambling game without interruption.
In honor of Montagu, invite a few friends over and assemble platters of sandwiches for your guests to taste and try.
Special cold sandwich recipes should contain a tasty assortment of quality meats and cheeses, paired with savory condiments and delicious garnishes that are topped with a variety of gourmet bread. Serve a platter of unique cold sandwiches that will ensure to have your guests running back for more.
Making perfect egg salad is an art, but once you get the basics down, you'll have a whole host of satisfying sandwiches ahead of you. Egg salad is classic summer picnic fare. Light, yet filling, the egg salad sandwich is perfect with a cup of mixed fruit or a side salad.