I recently posed this question on Twitter and the response was just about equal. Some said that stale/soggy bread ruins the sandwich. Some said that the “filling” could save bad bread. Some said both parts were equally important. I don’t know which is right, but I am going to give you my thoughts on all three!!
When you get the right combination of bread and filling it is MAGIC!! The combination of firmer bread and some fillings, just works. Other times, an uber-fresh roll works with some deli meat and fresh cheese. One of my favs is a slice of meatloaf (homemade or store-bought), a dab of spicy pasta sauce or spicy salsa and a slice of swiss cheese. Toast that sucker open-faced in the toaster oven until the sauce and meatloaf are warm and the cheese is just starting to melt. Put it together and that is the perfect combination of crunchy bread on the outside and fresh roll on the inside. The combination of spicy sauce and the bite of the cheese works well with the meatloaf. Try it and tell my what you think!
As for sandwich bread, there are so many choices. Rolls, loaves of bread, wraps. Some of the best sandwiches require the perfect bread. Corned Beef on Rye. You need a good rye bread and there are plenty of opinions on what rye bread is best. Marble, Light Rye or Dark Rye, they are all good and all serve their purpose. Ciabatta buns, Foccacia bread, Flatbreads, Pitas and Wraps are all viable options too. I have spread peanut butter and jam on the inside of a wrap and you know what, it works. The wrap suits that sort of filling.
As for the fillings themselves, this is where creativity comes in! They are as unique as the individual themselves. You can be creative and risqué or standard and predictable. Sometimes a good ol’ fashioned grilled cheese or BLT just works. The standbys of PB & J work too, especially if you are a kid (or a kid a heart). Personally one of my favourite sandwiches is something I call a Stag & Doe Sandwich (aka The Dagwood Sandwich). This monstrosity basically involves walking up to the meat platter at the buffet table and placing one slice of EVERY deli meat on the tray onto your roll. This means you can have roast beef, turkey, ham, salami and any other number of deli slices on there! Then add some olives, pickles, tomatoes, mustard and mayo (again, whatever is there). Close the sucker up and prepare to “tackle” it! If you have ever seen, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, you likely know about the “Philadelphia Hunch”. This is a method of eating a HUGE sandwich and keeping it all together. You might need to perfect this to tackle this sucker!
In conclusion, I guess it doesn’t matter what you find the best part of a sandwich. It is that you take some creativity and try it out. Do you have to eat a few “duds” along the way…sure. The payoff is that winning combination that just “works”! If you have found one of those combinations, leave it in the comments below. I would love to try some of your creations!