As children, many of us toted a lunch box that held the vital means for lasting an entire school day: the sandwich. Mom understood our favorites and how the right ratio of mayo to mustard mattered. Later, in midnight raids of the fridge, we mastered the exotic use of leftovers, and on the day after Thanksgiving, we constructed the best sandwich of the year. Slow-roasted meat and gourmet relish buttressed by homemade bread embodies the art of the sandwich.
And art it is to assemble a veritable feast between crusts of bread. Bread is the canvas. It is also where art becomes architecture. Whether one prefers Mediterranean flatbread, rustic ciabatta or a granary wedge, the bread should be substantial, not sloppy—a foundation upon which to build. Spreading a condiment over the bread acts as a barrier to mushiness or adds moisture. Next, cheese imparts strength as well as sharp, nutty or velvety appeal. Meat often showcases the perfect sandwich, and greens cap it off. The British Sandwich Association—now, there’s an organization worth its salt and pepper—actually crowns a champion sandwich maker annually. The ingredients need not be elaborate. A recent winner utilized homemade fruit bread, quality butter, soft Lancashire cheese and an artisan pickle. Continue reading “The Art of the Sandwich”