A sandwich really is the best thing ever. It can be taken anywhere, it will fill you up, and the options are almost limitless. You may make a sweet or savory sandwich, and eat it warm or cold. Do you eat a vegetarian diet? Okay, eat a sandwich on me. Do you like eating meat? OK, here are a few more sandwich platters.
Sandwiches were invented in England, which may not immediately come to mind as a hotbed of culinary innovation. John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, is credited with popularizing the sandwich in 1762. Montagu was a chronic gambler who would sit for hours at a time. His chef served him some pork between two slices of bread so he could eat with one hand while playing cards. This convenient meat-and-bread lunch quickly gained popularity and came to be known as the sandwich because he ate it so often.
These are some of the greatest there are, ranging from an Earl’s favorite one-handed gambling snack to an eternally adaptable staple.
1. B.L.T. sandwich
There is probably no need for a recipe here. Bacon, lettuce, and tomato; the clue is in the name. But if you want to seem sophisticated, choose this one. The beauty of the ideal BLT is that it will be excellent regardless of the quality of the B, L, or T used. Using high-quality ingredients is the key to making this sandwich shine. However, there is some room for mistake. When it comes to bacon, culinary critic Mimi Sheraton says fresh, hot, and crispy is the way to go. The lettuce cannot be iceberg and must have a substantial amount of crunch. Toasting the bread is also required.
2. Toasty tuna melt
Do you remember a particularly memorable tuna melt? Probably not, but there’s a good reason why it’s a diner staple. This sandwich consists of toasted bread, tuna salad, and melted cheese and is traditionally eaten open faced but may also be served between two pieces of bread. Although the exact place of invention of the tuna melt is unknown, it is widely believed that it first appeared in a Charleston, South Carolina Woolworth’s lunch counter in 1965. An order came in for a grilled cheese sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise, as recounted by author Warren Bobrow. Then, “a newly cooked tuna salad lies [on] the edge of the griddle on a shelf… and, as if directed by an unseen hand, the contents tumble over, dropping on the grilled cheese. Voilà! “It’s a tuna melt!
3. Sandwich with melted cheese
A delicious grilled cheese sandwich is one of life’s simplest pleasures. How can you perfect the art of the grilled cheese sandwich? Choose a cheese that melts nicely as a first step. American cheese slices, cheddar, Gruyere, and Brie are all acceptable alternatives. Whether you use butter or mayonnaise on your grilled cheese is a matter of personal preference, but remember to cook it slowly and low to avoid burning it. You don’t want your grilled cheese sandwich to taste like scorched bread and unmelted cheese.
4. Vietnamese sammich, or bánh m
The bánh m is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich made with a short French baguette. Outside of Vietnam, the term “bánh m” is most often used to describe a sandwich that combines Vietnamese and French ingredients. Bánh m may be made with a variety of different fillings, but often includes pickled vegetables, mayonnaise, cucumbers, cilantro, Maggi spice Sauce or another spice sauce like soy sauce, and a meat filling like ch la (pork roll) or xu mi (pork meatballs).
5. Subway Reuben
Don’t grab a reuben on a first date or during a high-stakes business lunch because of how messy it may become. Spread some tangy Russian dressing in between two pieces of rye bread then pile on with pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles, Swiss cheese, and other condiments. Using toothpicks to keep it together is highly recommended.
6. Sandwich with a French dip
Another muddled situation here! Thinly sliced beef is the main ingredient of the French dip, a hot sandwich typically served on a baguette with a side of beef broth, thus the name. On rare occasions, Swiss cheese and onions may be added to the dish. You may use a slow cooker or an Instant Pot to prepare this dish at home.
7. Philadelphia cheesesteak
Melted cheese and finely cut steak are the two most important components of a cheesesteak. The French dip may have originated in Los Angeles, but the Philly cheesesteak has become probably the most synonymous with a specific geographic location of all sandwiches. As Chicago has deep dish, Texas has barbeque, and New York has pizza, so too does Philadelphia have cheesesteaks.
8. The Classic Monte Cristo
The Monte Cristo is an Americanized, deep-fried version of a French classic, the croque monsieur. It lacks both saltiness and sweetness. It combines the best of a sandwich with French toast. It’s a ham and cheese sandwich that’s been battered with eggs, cooked in a pan, and finished with powdered sugar. The Monte Cristo’s opulence is best understood in comparison to its more sober forebear, the croque monsieur (the first grilled cheese sandwich).
9. Roll of lobster
A lobster roll is the quintessential New England summertime treat. Apologies to those of you who don’t reside in New England or the Canadian Maritimes, but the tastiest lobster rolls are the simplest ones made with the freshest ingredients. To enhance the delicate flavor of lobster, all you need is a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of mayonnaise. It is customary to serve lobster rolls on a split-top hotdog bun with a side of chips or fries.
10. Tostada or torta
It’s possible that, despite your fondness for Mexican cuisine, you’ve never had a torta, or “the Mexican sandwich.” The torta, like the bánh m, is a relic of French colonization in Vietnam’s cuisine. However, whereas the French introduced crisp baguettes to Vietnam, the torta is often served on a soft roll known as a telera or pambazo after the 1862 defeat of the French. The ideal corn tortilla, like the bread of a torta, is a delicate and unobtrusive platform for the bold tastes within.
11. Sandwich with peanut butter and jelly
The first sandwich you ever ate, and the most basic, kid-friendly, and shelf-stable option there is. The creation of peanut butter in the 1880s was the first step toward making the PB&J a reality, and it was a victory of American innovation and processed goods. Although Dr. George Washington Carver did much to promote the peanut as a crop in the American South, he is not credited with inventing peanut butter.
12. Sandwich with smoked salmon on cream cheese
Although the bagel and lox itself are not native to the Big Apple, the combination of the two with cream cheese, capers, and onions is very New York. Some Jewish immigrants in the 1950s were already using the phrase “bagels and lox” as a slur for being excessively Americanized or assimilated.