The most basic components of a sandwich include: the structure or base, the moistening agent and the filling.
The structure or base is the part upon which the ingredients are placed, or in which they are wrapped. It most usually consists of some form of bread or dough product that is whole or sliced. The base acts as the carrier of the other ingredients, and must be sturdy enough to hold the ingredients without becoming limp or broken.
The moistening agent is meant to lubricate and bind the sandwich, providing an improvement of both flavor and texture. In some cases, it acts as the protective layer between the filling and the structure, preventing the filling from softening or wetting the bread. Examples are most commonly used condiments such as: mayonnaise, softened butter, sour cream, mustard, dips or spreads, or an appropriate cold or hot sauce. However, it can also be a relish, salsa, chutney or some other form of pickled vegetable or fruit.
The filling is the main event, the marquee name, if you will. A filling can consist of one or more ingredients that are stacked, layered or folded within or on the structure to form the sandwich. The varieties of fillings are endless and should be carefully selected in keeping with the theme and flavor signatures of the rest of the components. The filling can be any form of cooked or cured meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, game, vegetable, fruit, cheese, salad or a combination of any of them. The fillings can be hot or cold, and sometimes a combination of both.
Finally, the basic building of a sandwich. Have you ever been to a corporate training event and been asked to outline the making of a sandwich so that a teammate can follow? Were you entertained when the results were less than a satisfying sandwich? Keep that in mind when making your own sandwiches. Though not considered by many to be a gourmet cooking experience, a sandwich is a meal and a meal should always be enjoyable, if not unforgettable. Some simple guidelines are:
Make sure you have all the ingredients for the specific sandwich recipe you have chosen.
Make sure to cut, slice, clean and wash any and all sandwich components that require this kind of attention.
The best ingredients are fresh, ripe, organic and without chemical enhancements. However, we all have our favorite condiments; our favorite fillings and a favored base. Eat what tastes best to you without sacrificing your health.
Use a clean surface or dish upon which to build your creation. Then, build, build, build away. Don't forget your add-ons such as tomato, onion, salsa, green onion, etc.,! Then top with the other slice of bread; gravy or sauce and enjoy!!!
A sandwich should be something that makes you smile and satisfies your hunger all within these three basic components.