What’s the Best Type of Sandwich? 

At the heart of the UK’s culinary landscape, the sandwich reigns supreme as a versatile and much-loved mealtime option. With a history dating back to the 18th century, this portable creation has evolved to suit various tastes and occasions. In the UK, there are two types of sandwiches that capture the essence of this culinary delight: the classic ‘triangle sandwich’ and the hearty ‘sub roll’. Let’s delve into these two iconic varieties and discover the unique characteristics that make them staples in British dining culture. 

The Classic Triangle Sandwich: Nostalgia on a Plate 

The triangle sandwich, often referred to simply as the ‘sandwich’, is a cherished symbol of British tradition and a staple at afternoon teas, picnics, and office lunches alike. With its origins attributed to John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who popularised the idea of placing fillings between slices of bread to facilitate convenient eating during a card game, this type of sandwich is a testament to simplicity and elegance. 

The classic triangle sandwich follows a time-honoured formula: two slices of bread enclosing a delectable filling, cut into diagonal halves to form two equal triangles. This simple yet effective structure showcases the filling at its best, allowing for a balanced distribution of flavours. Traditional fillings like cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon and dill, or ham and mustard are meticulously layered to create a symphony of tastes. 

Presentation is paramount with the triangle sandwich. These delicate delights are often served at formal events like afternoon teas, where they are neatly arranged on tiered trays. The crusts are typically removed to maintain an air of refinement, allowing the focus to remain on the intricate fillings. The triangle sandwich embodies a touch of nostalgia, evoking memories of leisurely gatherings and a nod to the aristocratic origins of this beloved culinary creation. 

The Hearty Sub Roll: A Substantial Indulgence 

On the other end of the spectrum lies the hearty sub roll, also known as the ‘submarine sandwich’, ‘sub’, or ‘hoagie’. This robust creation represents a more substantial, filling option that caters to heartier appetites and on-the-go meals. The sub showcases the British inclination for embracing global influences whilst maintaining a satisfying, comfort-driven experience. 

The sub roll features a single elongated bread roll, often resembling a baguette, that’s split open and generously stuffed with an array of fillings. This type of sandwich offers a canvas for a wide variety of ingredients, from cold cuts and cheeses to grilled vegetables and spreads. Meats like roast beef, turkey, or bacon are layered with lettuce, tomato, onions, and an assortment of condiments to create a symphony of flavours and textures. 

The sub roll’s adaptability makes it a favourite for quick lunches or casual meals. It’s often associated with casual eateries, sandwich shops, and food trucks, where customisation is encouraged. The sturdy nature of the bread roll allows it to hold up well against substantial fillings and sauces, making it an ideal option for those looking for a hearty, satisfying meal on the go. 

The sandwich scene is a vibrant tapestry of tradition and one that celebrates diversity in every bite, whether indulging in delicate finger sandwiches or sinking your teeth into a generously filled sub. Embracing both types of sandwich, the UK has masterfully combined history, global influences, and a deep appreciation for delicious, satisfying meals that cater to every palate and occasion.