Time for lunch: What goes into making the perfect sandwich

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Sandwiches are a basic combination of fillings packed between two slices of bread but they can make for a truly scrumptious meal if you get the formula right.

The formula for building a delicious sandwich:

Solid foundation

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You’ll need the right bread if you’re going to load your sarmie with toppings. Picture: Instagram

Build your sandwich on a solid foundation of artisanal bread. Although that pillowy soft, store-bought stuff is super nostalgic, save it for a PB&J. For the ultimate sandwich, you’ll need something a little more durable, that can take the layering of many different ingredients without disintegrating. A good sourdough or ciabatta has the perfect amount of fluffiness with a nice, browned crust that’s full of flavour. However, if you’re on the lookout for something healthier, seeded bread has a coarse, solid texture and doesn’t get soggy too easily either.

Mix of textures

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The finely sliced toppings in this sandwich are well balanced. Picture: Instagram

Crispy, crunchy, creamy, soft and chewy are some of the textures that make a sandwich so delicious to eat. However, too much of any of those can cause an imbalance, ruining the entire eating experience. Big globs of sauce can make bread soggy, too thick a slice of a tomato can be wet and watery, and too thick a slice of bread can be dense and dry. To avoid this, slice your veggies, pat the lettuce dry, pack wet toppings between lettuce to create a barrier between your bread and don’t over sauce your sandwich.

Balance of flavours

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Crispy maple bacon is the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Picture: Instagram

Much like a balance of texture makes for a moreish sarmie, so does having a good layering of flavours. Marrying elements of salty, sweet, tangy and umami together in one bite will give you an explosion of flavour that will set your taste buds alight. For example, the sweetness of caramelised onions can highlight the saltiness of crispy bacon, making for an epic combination that will leave you wanting more.

Sauces

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Homemade hot sauce. Picture: Instagram

No one likes a dry sandwich where every bite feels harder to swallow than the one before. To make matters worse, you’re left with a deconstructed pile of ingredients when all the fillings fall out because there’s nothing binding them together. Sauces and spreads are the perfect way to add moisture and flavour to your sandwiches. Meat sandwiches are generally quite greasy and juicy so a slab of meat can often stand alone between two slices of bread. However, vegans and vegetarians have to get a lot more creative. Hummus, chutneys, relishes, infused oils, flavoured mayo, mustard, ketchup and pestos – the list is endless.

Freshness

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Fresh herbs from the garden. Picture: Instagram

After adding all your main toppings, you might want to add a little freshness to your sarmie. Fresh herbs like basil, rocket, chives or dill not only add crispness, they’re packed with flavour. Juicy tomatoes, onion, slivers of carrot, thinly sliced cucumber and shredded cabbage seasoned with lemon juice, salt and pepper can also be added.

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