Celebrating World Sandwich Day

World Sandwich Day DineJoziStyle

Aaah, the ubiquitous sandwich! What would we do without it?

A quick, easy meal that can be eaten hot or cold anytime of the day or night and with a huge variety of breads and fillings from which to choose. It’s little wonder Americans eat more than 300 million sandwiches a day, an amazing statistic when you consider that there are only a little over 320 million people living in the US. It’s also no wonder that the sandwich has its very own day – celebrated every year on November 3 as World Sandwich Day.

To mark the occasion, we uncovered some interesting sandwich facts and asked Chef Charne Wylie from Capsicum Culinary Studio’s Pretoria campus to share her recipe for her favourite sandwich – the Katsu Sando – one of the most popular sandwiches in Japan. But first those facts …

The sandwich is named after John Montagu (1718-92), the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who started a craze for eating slices of beef nestled between two slices of toast.

In South Africa, the slang word for a sandwich is a sarmie; in the UK it’s a sarnie or buttie, and in the US – depending on where you are – it’s called a grinder, a hero, a sub or a hoagie.

The largest sandwich weighed around 2,467kg and contained 68kg of mustard, 468kg of corned beef, 118kg of cheese, 240kg of lettuce and 1,618kg of bread.

The most expensive sandwich ever sold was a grilled toast sandwich which appeared to have an image of the Virgin Mary on it. It was auctioned for R412,000 in 2004.

A New York restaurant sells the priciest sandwich in the world. It consists of French bread (baked with Dom Perignon and real gold flakes) and a rare Italian cheese called caciocavallo podolico. Truffle oil is drizzled on top after it is pressed in a panini press. It will set you back a mere R3,150!

The most popular sandwich filling in the US is ham, cheese, tomato and mustard (or mayo), closely followed by the BLT which has bacon, lettuce and tomato and a PBJ – peanut butter and jelly (jam) – coming in third.

Fool’s Gold Loaf is a sandwich made by the Colorado Mine Company, in Denver in the US and consists of a single warmed, hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with the contents of a jar of peanut butter, a jar of grape jam and 2kgs of bacon. According to the book The Life and Cuisine of Elvis Presley, the crooner and his mates once took his private jet from Graceland, purchased 30 of the sandwiches and spent two hours eating them and drinking champagne before flying home.

A Dagwood is a multi-layered sandwich made with a variety of meats, cheeses, and condiments and named after Dagwood Bumstead, a character in the comic strip Blondie, who was often illustrated making enormous sandwiches.


Chef Charne Wylie’s Katsu Sando

World Sandwich Day DineJoziStyle

2 slices white bread, lightly toasted
½ tbsp butter
¼ tsp mustard
1 piece pork or beef brisket
pinch of salt and pepper
½ tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
1½ tbsp water
1 tbsp plain flour
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
vegetable oil for frying
1 tbsp tonkatsu sauce*
½ cup shredded cabbage

Combine the mayonnaise, butter and mustard in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
Place the pork or beef on a chopping board and tenderise with a mallet. Shape the meat to the same size as the bread slice and season with salt and pepper. Combine the egg and water in a medium mixing bowl and whisk. Add flour and mix together to make a batter. Dip the meat into the batter then coat in the breadcrumbs. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the meat for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oil and place on kitchen paper. Spread the butter, mayonnaise and mustard mixture thinly on both slices of the toasted bread. Place ½ cup of shredded cabbage on one slice. Drizzle the tonkatsu sauce generously on top then cover with the meat. Drizzle more sauce on top of the meat and cover with the second slice of bread. Put a flat plate over the bread and place a weight on top for 5 minutes so bread soaks up the sauce. Remove plate, cut in half and tuck in!

*To make tonkatsu sauce, mix 8 tbs tomato sauce, 2 tbs soya sauce, 1 tbs brown sugar, 1 tbs Japanese sweet wine (mirin), 1½ tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, 1 minced clove garlic. Whisk and let flavours blend for 30 minutes before use.

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