Dwelling on injustices, bad behaviour and modern day dilemmas.

Shelley Bridgeman: What's your favourite sandwich?

Sandwiches from The Baker's Cottage in Kingsland. Photo / Sarah Ivy
Sandwiches from The Baker's Cottage in Kingsland. Photo / Sarah Ivy

After reading the responses to The Art of the Ultimate Sandwich in which people shared their favourite sandwich fillings, I decided that someone's sandwich preference can reveal a lot about their personality type. Those who liked uncomplicated combinations such as cheese-and-pickle, roast-beef-and-plum-jam, vegemite-and-aged-cheddar, roast-pork-and-apple-sauce or peanut-butter-and-cucumber - not to mention fish-fingers, tinned spaghetti or cold lamb curry - would be straightforward folk.

But people who fancied "sliced medium rare steak, crushed roast potatoes, Tabasco, gherkins, rocket" on homemade flatbread or "ciabatta stuffed with grilled courgette slices, brie, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and rocket" would be high maintenance and difficult to please. And anyway, once the number of ingredients passes a certain number it sounds more like a burger than a sandwich to me.

So is a burger a sandwich? How all-encompassing is the definition of a sandwich?

Does a tortilla wrap, stuffed pita pocket or panini qualify? Regardless, freshness is crucial.

In my book sandwiches must be served immediately after assembly. Ready-made sandwiches on display in a cafe's cabinet are seldom appealing. I quite understand my daughter's reluctance to take sandwiches to school; they're not nearly so tasty once they've been festering in a lunchbox all morning.

These days even the upmarket restaurants are making a name for themselves with their interpretation of the humble sandwich. The same week the article ran in The Guardian I happened to visit two local establishments boasting such items on the menu. It was obvious the revamped Banque Oyster Bar & Eatery has taken inspiration from Depot Eatery and Oyster Bar. Even so it seems the imitator has surpassed the prototype - in the miniature gourmet sandwich stakes at least.

On the Monday night Banque's Vietnamese sandwiches (with pulled pork, pate, pickled vegetables and coriander) were flavoursome and sublime in their deliciousness. The following evening, Depot's signature sliders (filled with turbot with pickled lemon mayo and watercress) were lacklustre in comparison. The flavour simply wasn't there and I'm not just saying that because upon arrival I'd been forced to stand alone on the pavement while my husband parked the car at SkyCity.

(Evidently Depot won't seat people until the entire party is present but it was about 5.30pm, there were plenty of free tables inside and - despite there being no free seats outside - this is where I was summarily shepherded to. The other half turned up about seven minutes later but standing outside in the dark and on my own it felt more like 30-minutes. And, yes, I had asked to be allowed to wait inside.)

As far as homemade fillings go I'm partial to roast-chicken-and-stuffing or crispy-bacon-with-HP-sauce but my favourite sandwich is toasted - that is, of course, if toasted even counts as a proper sandwich. Anyway, it consists of two thick slices of Bakers Delight white loaf filled with grated Edam cheese and gently fried circles of red onion, toasted in a pan and served with chutney my husband made with our home-grown apricots.

What's your favourite sandwich? Can a sandwich have too many fillings? Where do burgers, wraps, paninis, tortillas, pita pockets and toasted sandwiches fit into the scheme of things?

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Dwelling on injustices, bad behaviour and modern day dilemmas.

Shelley Bridgeman is a truck-driving, supermarket-going, horse-riding mother-of-one who is still married to her first husband. As a Herald online blogger, she specialises in First World Problems and delves fearlessly into the minutiae of daily life. Twice a week, she shares her perspective on a pressing current issue and invites readers to add their ten cents’ worth to the debate.

Read more by Shelley Bridgeman

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