Examiner food columnist STEPHEN JACKSON turns his attention today to a staple of British cuisine - the sandwich.
IT IS National Sandwich week this week, so I think it’s high time we lavished some praise upon this, perhaps THE ultimate snack.
Too often we take the sarnie for granted, but it is one of the rare foodstuffs that transcends mere nutrition.
It is the backbone of our culinary consciousness.
The origin of the snack is unclear, although the naming of it isn’t.
John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, famously ordered the snack whilst playing cribbage, in order to prevent the cards from becoming soggy and as everyone henceforth asked for “the same as Sandwich”, the name stuck.
But people were popping things between bits of bread long before the cards were dealt.
But oh, what a trend he started. There are infinite fillings, from the most basic cheese and pickle all the way to the posh crayfish-tail-and-rocket.
Our national tastes have given us several absolute classics.
A simple strawberry jam sandwich will instantly turn your clock back to childhood.
The bacon sandwich, a breakfast stalwart, is still my absolute Desert Island Dish.
I challenge you not to start licking your lips at the thought of a rare roast beef sandwich, with perhaps a lick of horseradish and some watercress, or maybe a few thick slices of roast ham and a dab of hot mustard?
Perhaps you prefer the tea-time classics, shorn of their crusts; the tomato or the cucumber triangles. Chicken and avocado, perhaps? Crab paste? Marmite? Fish fingers?
Everyone has a favourite, and their own, time-worn manner of preparing it.
Of course, the Americans have taken the sandwich to heart and made it even more of a cultural icon.
Their constructions are legendary, from the meatball and cheese sub to the famous oyster po’boy of New Orleans – a sweet bun loaded with coleslaw and breaded, deep-fried oysters.
Philly Cheese-steaks, dripping with melted provolone cheese and golden onions help fill Mid-West tummies, New York is built on mountains of pastrami, pickles and rye bread and in Florida the Cuban sandwich is king.
And of course, anyone who’s a follower of US TV and movies will know the universal popularity of the peanut butter and jelly (jam) sandwich, which fills many a child’s lunchbox.
I’m going to share one of my favourite sandwich recipes with you, and invite you to send us your favourites in honour of National Sandwich Week, no matter how weird or wonderful.
In fact, the stranger the better! I’ve read about tomato and banana being someone’s ultimate sarnie, and it doesn’t get much weirder than that.
If you have an unusual or special sandwich recipe send it to Examiner Features Department, Queen Street South, Huddersfield, HD1 3DU or email to email@example.com
Ever since my best friend’s mum made me this sandwich as a young man, it’s been a firm favourite of mine (funny
how other mums always seemed to make really great food!). I think it’s the combination of the cold chicken and the hot bread sauce and bacon.
Sometimes I make a more elaborate version with gravy-soaked bread and stuffing, but this is the classic.
Leftover roast chicken
A few rashers of dry-cured back bacon
Bread sauce (for authenticity, this should be a certain Norwich-based company’s packet sauce)
First, make the bread sauce. Keep this warm. Grill the back bacon until the fat is crispy.
Take your favourite loaf and pick two nice slices. Spread thinly with good-quality salted butter and a smear of
cranberry jelly. Heap on some watercress, and a few slices of leftover chicken. Top with a little hot bread sauce and a couple of rashers of bacon. Your sandwich should be eaten immediately, in quiet contemplation.