How to make the perfect crisp sandwich: our tips in advance of British Sandwich Week
British Sandwich Week runs from May 22-28.
In Scotland, we think that this event should be known as Give Piece a Chance, and we’re using it as an excuse to promote the humble crisp sandwich.
Although a sannie filled with crisps has always been the ultimate guilty pleasure or low rent student choice, it’s become fashionable of late.
We’ve experienced gourmet sandwiches filled with, among other ingredients, prawn crackers and game chips.
However, aside from these hoity toity versions, devotees to this lunchtime choice have some strong feelings about what makes a classic crisp sandwich.
We took a deeply scientific Twitter survey of food friends to find out more.
Sourdough and focaccia are all very well, but it seems you should sack your fancy bread standards when it comes to a crisp sandwich. You want cheap white bread with doughy bounce, for textural contrast. Some go for sliced bread, others for a bap. The jury is split.
“Well-fired morning roll,” says pastry chef Lauren Shields. Fisher & Donaldson say; “Buttered morning roll”. “Buttered bloomer bread,” says Mr C’s Hand-Crafted Pies. Someone even told us that they hollow out the inside of a roll, before pouring the crisps inside, thus creating a snack burrow. Another swore by the Glasgow-made Mortons Rolls. All of them are correct.
The most popular choices are classic salt and vinegar, plain or cheese and onion.
We discovered a strong contingent who like Squares, though we’re a bit scared of the potential gum laceration. The same goes for Kettle Chips. Other top choices are Worcester Sauce varieties, the ridged option of Chilli McCoys, “Golden Wonder Roast Chicken,” says Cliff Mann, or “Walkers Prawn Cocktail,” says Hannah from The Dining Room PR.
Bacon flavour is also popular, and there are a few Monster Munch and Hula Hoop outliers.
“A well-fired roll, butter and smokey bacon crisps, my lunchtime staple for my entire high school career back in Lanarkshire in the Eighties,” says commercial digital content editor, Jackie Mitchell. Thankfully, nobody mentioned Nik Naks or Scampi Fries.
“Soft roll spread with butter thick enough to leave teeth indentations and cheese and onion crisps. Lightly squash. Delicious simplicity”, says radiographer, Patricia Christie. Indeed, the butter is very important, and it has to be spread lavishly, as if you were applying night cream to a heavily wrinkled face.
Christie isn’t the only one to mention this technique, alternatively known as ‘the squish’. Make your sandwich, then apply pressure to the lid, so the crisps are gently crushed into the butter/mayo. It’s as therapeutic as Shiatsu.
There are a few purists who just want crisps as a flling, but others add cheddar, hummus or alternative protein. Chicken is best. “White bread, good butter, cold roast chicken, mayo, black pepper, salt and vinegar crisps”, says Scottish chef Nick Nairn. Sounds like perfection.
There are also a few rebels who will add beetroot, cucumber or peanut butter. We have unfollowed them.
Also, you’ll either love or hate the idea from Jason Thomas Ring, executive head chef for London’s Vacherin,. He says; “White buttered bread with lashing of Marmite, iceberg lettuce and cheese and onion crisps”. The vinegary condiment that is Salad Cream is also a big favourite. Controversial.