Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sandwich Fillings

One of the small things I miss over here is a good deli sandwich. Some may argue that they exist, however I seem to constantly encounter sandwich "fillings" as the more common lunch sandwich offering in our area of the UK. 

While I do miss a good reuben or turkey club sandwich, I have grown fond of a few of these sandwich "fillings." My favorite is the smoked salmon sandwich on brown bread. In fairness I used to eat smoked salmon on bagels with cream cheese (or lox on bagels) in the US, but I did not find it served as a lunch/deli sandwich as often back there. 
A sandwich with smoked salmon filling on brown bread, as served to me at a little cafe in Stratford. It was tasty! Note, rarely are sandwiches served with crisps (aka chips) in cafes. They always seem to include a side salad or garnish if you may - or more likely you will have a side order of chips (aka fries). 
The smoked salmon filling is usually widely available and has become my preferred choice lately. The other fillings do seem a bit strange compared to my old favorite of a Jimmy John's turkey tom sandwich. I finally took a photo of some of these "fillings" on a menu of an English eatery. And often the "fillings" are available either on sandwiches or on top of a jacket potato (a baked potato - they LOVE potatoes here). 
It also seems they LOVE mayo here. The Prawn Mayo filling is bizarre to me. I am sure if I grew up eating it, I would love it. Same with the cheese & beans. Furthermore, when I see Cheese & Beans on a menu, I would think - "melted cheese with beans...." - thinking along the lines of baked beans and velveeta type cheese. 
It is not. 
Often times when the "fillings" include cheese, it is shredded, and VERY rarely is it ever melted. In fact, it seems the English love cheese sandwiches. Just cheese and maybe some chutney. I enjoy a grilled cheese.....but a non-melted shredded cheese sandwich? I think I'll take a pass. 
Another note on the menu items above here - the bacon is of course what Americans know as ham. Not a deli ham, but more along the lines of a Canadian bacon type of ham. 
And not to miss - the "Tuna & Sweetcorn Mayo" filling is slightly cut off at the bottom of the photo. Very bizarre.

I am positive my stance on the sandwich fillings is purely a reflection of my preferences from where I was raised. I am sure that if Scott & I had both grown up eating beans on toast - or - cheese & beans on a baguette, we probably would find Ham & Swiss on rye a bit strange as well. 
The sandwich I do miss most is a good corned beef sandwich on rye.....but I will leave that topic for another blog post as corned beef has an entirely different meaning over here.....


Anonymous said...

I would give anything for the ability to dictate plain sandwiches here... I don't eat meat so a plain cheese sandwich would be great but they always have some sort of "chutney" or "pickle" that makes the bread soggy and gross. And they are, what one of my fellow expat friends pointed out, normally pre-packaged as "gas station sandwiches" in the triangle boxes. Eww. But I like this idea of the potatoes with toppings, wish that was common in my work canteen!

Iota said...

I'm really intrigued. I find that mayo is much more of a staple in sandwiches over here. My kids don't like mayo or mustard, and on occasion, we've found it hard to buy a sandwich in a sandwich shop. I was talking to a friend yesterday about this very subject, and explained that we would usually just put butter or 'flora' on each piece of bread for a sandwich. If we did put mayo in, it would be on top of the spread.

But I think US sandwiches are more imaginative than UK ones. Ours tend to be rather plain - more like a snack than a meal.

Iota said...

On reflection, I think shop-bought sandwiches in England DO use a lot of mayo. It's more in people's homes (eg as a staple kids' snack) that people just have buttered bread and the filling.