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How To Craft The Perfect Sandwich

Photo by mahyar motebassem on Unsplash

Now I’m not a chef, or an expert in culinary arts in any respect, but sandwich making isn’t cooking. It is an art form. So please, enjoy this brief journey into my creative process:


Toast it just right, unless it is fresh baked bread/still hot. Toast it somewhere between 3–4 minutes. As for what type of bread I’m inclined to say sourdough or dutch crunch, but you could go in any direction: rye, wheat, ciabatta, gluten free. It’s up to you, it’s your sandwich!


Next you have to butter the bread. I used to be incredibly against buttering sandwich bread, until I married a French woman, and she showed me the way. Buttered bread enhances the flavor with every bite. If you are dairy free, I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter will do just fine.

Get the other condiments you like. I like to add mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, oil and red wine vinegar. Start with the mustard and mayo, or whatever spreads on the bread. Hold onto those other ones for just a moment


While the bread is still hot, add the slices of cheese to one side of the bread. The hot bread will melt the cheese a bit, giving it a nice gooey layer. I tend to prefer the basic Sharp Cheddar or Swiss, but you can go in any direction: goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, be creative!


Next layer your meats across the cheese layer. Also note when it comes to deli meats, there is only one correct brand and that’s Boars Head. Then there are no wrong answers: honey ham, or oven roasted turkey, roast beef, etc. You could also do something like tuna fish salad, if you are not into cold cuts.


Cover the other side of the buttered and condimented bread with shredded lettuce. Chopped is fine, but in my humble opinion shredded is the optimal choice for sandwich building, especially ones with a lot of toppings. It’s less of a hit if some falls out. Plus the texture is generally just more enticing.

After that add a couple of slices of tomato. Heirloom if it is the season, if not roma or off the vine is just fine. Also some very thin slices of red or white onion. Depending on your preference this is where you can also add pickles or peppers. Consider tucking the pickles underneath the lettuce, to optimize layers of crunch.

Remaining Condiments

Sprinkle the salt and pepper and pour the oil and vinegar over the salad. This will bring out some of the hidden flavors in the veggies, particularly if you are lucky enough to have heirloom tomatoes.

Finally, before closing up the sandwich, add any fun extras! Maybe add bacon or avocado to your turkey sandwich and make it a club, or add a second type of meat or cheese, or maybe even add some potato chips. (In case my crunch bias isn’t obvious enough by this point.) Put the bread with the cheese and meat on top of the bread with the salad fixings, slice in half. And enjoy!



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Francesca Gabrielle Bavaro

Francesca Gabrielle Bavaro

Francesca enjoys writing personal-political essays, short fiction, and poetry.