From the arepa to the banh mi to peanut butter and jelly, sandwiches are popular all over the world. It seems that every region and every culture has its own take on this menu item. Simply put, people love sandwiches. But most people are also very particular about their sandwiches. Some like them toasted. Some like them cut a certain way. Some like the crusts cut off. My favorite sandwich? An Italian made with jardiniera, pickled onions, arugula, turkey, salami and ham on crusty bread.
As a chef, I’ve found it can be tricky to make your sandwiches stand out while making them appeal to all types of diners. I find that using unique ingredients between the bread really helps. Instead of regular veggies, try pickled veggies. Instead of iceberg lettuce, try arugula or spring mix. Using jams, such as onion or bacon, in place of other condiments can also do a lot to enhance flavor.
I love using the sandwich to introduce ethnic tastes to patrons. Taking something familiar and adding a fun and craveable twist is a great way to appeal to a wider variety of diners. I also like combining different ethnic flavors to create something new, such as Korean tacos or a shawarma made with arepa. Fusion sandwiches have to be made with care, though. Not all ingredients and cuisines go well together. An arepa has a corn flavor to it, so the flavor of shawarma would complement it nicely.
As I said before, the sandwich is a very personal food—but you can still be creative with your options. What’s a unique sandwich on your menu? Share it with me on Facebook.
Talk to you soon!