#FailedJobEntry: Wrote this article about sandwiches for a food journal.
Sandwiches: quintessentially British, latterly open for interpretation. Four ‘ethnic food aisle’ ingredients to use in the conventional favourite.
Sarnie, bun, toastie, bap, rolls, butty—the backbone of British fare rests on the sandwich. Broadly defined, sandwiches are really any ensemble of chow sheathed in/on bread.
UK sammy culture is particularly fascinating: depending on the ingredients used, the meals it’s eaten in, the way it’s enjoyed, or how it’s prepared—this yummy delicacy signals special titles defended by foodies and purists alike.
The UK marks itself the topographical birthright of the lunchtime favourite, albeit only in name. The word ‘sandwich’ allegedly originates from the 18th century, when the former Earl of Sandwich in Kent wanted a convenient snack to hold while gambling at the card table. While the term permanently coined a globally-recognised food today, there are high chances that it’s really a xenonym for a wide range of already-existing foodstuffs that constitute as sandwiches today.
All things considered, sandwiches are open to general interpretation. They can reflect a medley of cultural ingredients woven into authentic practices. After all, why not enjoy your next sausage bap with more than the bare-bone ingredients of a sausage and bap? Sure, its definitional purity might be challenged—but at least it’ll taste good. And that’s what matters.
Here are four diverse ways to incorporate the ‘ethnic food aisle’ jars sitting in your fridges and cupboards for your next sandwich.
Harissa Harissa is a North-African red chili paste, usually made with roasted red Capsaicin and Baklouti peppers, garlic, caraway, coriander, cumin, and olive oil. The word harissa derives from an Arabic verb, meaning ‘pound’ or ‘smash into pieces’. It is smoky, peppery, citrusy, and tangy. It goes perfect with fish and fried foods—making it a great addition to your next fish- finger sandwich. Slather some on top of the mayo (if that’s your jam) to pack a kick.
Sambal Sambal is an Southeast-Asian chili paste, named after Javanese word ‘sambel’ meaning relish—and broadly referring to many condiments with chilis. It’s typically mashed together with an assortment of Capsaicin peppers, shrimp paste, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, sweeteners, and lime juice. It is spicy, sweet, sour, and tangy. It goes well with juicy, fatty, things—and is the perfect equilibrium for the heaviness of a burger. I’d recommend tossing some salads and vegetables in the sauce before adding it in—but you’re more than welcome to add it however you’d like. Are burgers sandwiches? For the meantime, we’ll say yes.
Miso Miso is a Japanese paste, deriving from Japanese word ‘shi’—meaning fermented food. It’s made by fermenting soybeans with kōji, recognised as Japan’s national mould. It’s flavour profile is often referred to as umami, while also funky, salty, tangy, and—toasty.
So, guess what? It goes excellent with cheese—and with your next toastie. Make sure to rub miso and butter before crisping your sourdough atop a pan—you won’t regret it. 4. Chili oil Chili oil is an Asian red coulis of sorts, made by steeping hot chilis into neutral-based oils. There are a range of different types of chili oils, but it’s best defined as enriched, hot, and spicy. Personally, I can enjoy chili oil with just about anything. It does, though, go incredibly well with ketchup—making it a great dip for your next breakfast sausage bap.