Sandwich Inventions

Sandwich identity and sandwiches as a platform for construction has already been established elsewhere, which allows us to expand into the topic of Sandwich Inventions. The hamburger has such a strong identity that nearly any sandwich containing ground beef is likely to be categorized as a hamburger. If one were to take a different sandwich, perhaps a Philly Cheesesteak or a Pastrami sandwich and add a hamburger patty, you would wind up with a Philly Cheesesteak Burger or a Pastrami Burger, both of which are delicious. Sandwiches core identity as a structure made up of layers is what allows this to take place, and it is fascinating to explore the different implementations of such a process.

Let’s explore this topic using two very different types of sandwiches, the Banh Mi, a french roll with pork, jalapenos, carrots, pickled daikon, and cilantro with the Hamburger, a circular sliced bun with ground beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, and perhaps a pickle. An accomplished sandwich enthusiast can clearly see that it would be possible to combine these two sandwiches into a hybrid sandwich by identifying where a delicious intersection could occur. The core ingredient in a hamburger that must always remain is of course the ground beef hamburger patty, but with the banh mi, we notice something peculiar. The core flavor that makes a banh mi isn’t the meat at all, but the combination of vegetables that lend it such a vibrant identity. By taking this into account, it becomes possible to create a hybrid Banh Mi Burger that contains the following ingredients: circular sliced bun, ground beef, carrots, pickled daikon, and cilantro. This configuration of ingredients allows the vegetables from the Banh Mi to replace the standard Hamburger vegetables, and the inclusion of the burger isn’t significantly different from the standard pork in a Banh Mi, so the sandwich continues to make contextual sense with both labels.

The possibilities that open up when you explore this strategy of sandwich design are astounding. On the one hand, it allows you to break a sandwich down into its core and find out what the primary factor is that lends its powers to a sandwich’s reputation. On the other, it allows you to break apart the existing sandwich landscape and create entirely new combinations by combining known configurations. There is never a need to completely reinvent the wheel, and by designing a hybrid sandwich, it lends an element of scalability to your creation that would otherwise be lost if your key addition is a rare or difficult to find ingredient.