Sandwiches and The City #1.

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Those who know me well will be privy to my obsession. I heart sandwiches. Not just a bit, not just a regular appreciation – I am really and truly smitten. Heck, I even eat them for breakfast. Most days. I have been meaning to start this little series for a good six months now – if nothing else, it gives me a way to justify my abnormal consumption levels.

For a sarnie geek like me, London glistens with endless opportunities to find the perfect arrangement of things-in-bread and I have wasted no time in seeking them out since moving here. I have munched my way all over town with the insatiability of a carb addicted pacman and I ain’t about to stop yet. Well, I almost did once, when I thought I had a wheat intolerance – I mean, can you imagine? Turns out it was just a mild overdose.

So, if there’s anyone who knows the building blocks of a decent sanger, it’s me and I consider it my duty to disseminate this information to the masses. Here’s how we’re gonna roll. Each sandwich will be rated on a number of characteristics which must all work in beautiful harmony if the whole is to become more than the sum of its parts.

Bread: SO important. There are hundreds of varieties available, some gorgeous artisan specimens among them. We no longer have to settle for ‘plastic’ white sliced ‘bread’, tragically soggy from sweating in a plastic packet for three days.

Flavour: Pretty self-explanatory this one.
Quality: Ditto.
Quantity: Not always about the deep-fill, sometimes less is more.
Textures: The key to a perfect sarnie – s’all in the contrasts y’all.
Spreads/Dressings/Sauces: Or not.
Assembly: Prepared with the appropriate dose of love? Layering is also important (no, really).

Value for Money: Extra credit crunch with that madam?
Service: To be fair, I’m not going to be there long but it still counts.

Overall Score: I shall employ the tried and tested, ‘out of ten’ system.

SATC #1: Luca’s Bakery – Serrano Ham, Manchego and Quince Jelly on Ciabatta.

Where: Luca’s Bakery. They are opening in East Dulwich soon but at present operate from a trestle table outside Moxon’s fishmongers, said table groaning under the weight of luscious baked treats.
When: 12th November, lunchtime, hopped off the 185 from Lewisham especially to see them.

Bread: A fine slab of gorgeous, airy, floury ciabatta. I get flour all over my face. They score extra marks for generously drizzling with olive oil.

Flavour: Serrano ham – gorgeously melty flavourful fat, slightly sharp Manchego and then sweet quince jelly. A hint of grassy olive oil in the background. Pretty damn good. I’ve not eaten quince jelly in a sandwich before but I will certainly be doing so in the future. There are also leaves, which are pleasantly peppery.
Quality: Really rather good.
Quantity: I could take a little more ham, but only in a greedy way, the cheese is not overdone and I think the amount of jelly is spot on.
Textures: Good. Soft ham, softish to crumblyish cheese, squishy jelly and then a good bite from the leaves.
Spreads/Dressings/Sauces: The olive oil works a treat. I suspect it is Greek.
Assembly: Well stacked. They have prepared the sandwich as one long ciabatta and then cut into suitable wedges. I like this. I visualise them making it.

Let’s take a look inside…

Value for Money: I didn’t note the exact price (I promise to do so in future) but I think it was about £3. I think this is excellent value for such a beautifully flavoured, sizeable and quality sandwich.
Service: With a smile. They are such lovely friendly ladies. I tell them I can’t wait for the bakery to open and purchase a macaroon. I ask for pistachio which turns out to be coconut. I don’t mind.

Overall Score: 7.5/10

(A ‘very good’ sandwich, not a life changer but an extra half point for introducing me to the idea of using the quince jelly. I am a strict marker – or a ‘hawk’ as teachers say).

Category: Sandwiches and The City 18 comments »

18 Responses to “Sandwiches and The City #1.”

  1. Niamh

    Lol! I am going to *love* this series.

    Niamhs last blog post..Slow Roast Pork Belly with Cider & Lentils

  2. Kake

    Nice analysis! And nice-looking sandwich. I’m not too far from East Dulwich; will keep an eye out for the proper opening.

  3. Lethological Gourmet

    Ooh that sounds good! (except for coconut). I love artisan breads, never been a big fan of those spongy breads.

    And to get a really nice sandwich like that for 3 pounds (I don’t have a symbol on my keyboard, arg!), that’s awesome! That’s about $6, and usually the really fancy sandwiches are $6 minimum, if not $7.

  4. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen

    This is great! I am obsessed with sandwiches tooooo! That is why lunch is my favorite meal! This looks scrummy!

    JennDZ_The LeftoverQueens last blog post..Fall Harvest, Part 2

  5. Helen Yuet Ling Pang

    Great idea for a series! I love sandwiches, if they’re special like this one. Looking forward to reading about the next one and the next…

    Helen Yuet Ling Pangs last blog post..Postcard From Beijing & Hong Kong – Days 13 & 14

  6. Lizzie

    I’ve never been a massive sandwich fan; I’m always
    quite intrigued by people at work eating sandwiches for lunch, they simply don’t fill me up.

    That said, Make Mine do a mean afternoon-snack-sandwich!

    Lizzies last blog post..Wasabi Salmon & Soba Noodle Salad

  7. Johanna

    Great idea – I love good sandwiches but found when I lived in the UK that so many places just sold those horrid sandwiches that had sat in plastic boxes going soggy for too long – also it often seems quite a challenge finding a good vegetarian sandwich – hope you find at least one veg one for the series! If I lived in london I would be checking out your sandwich makers of choice.

    These days probably home made sandwiches are my favourites but I learnt the art working in a deli!

    Johannas last blog post..Rogan Josh with variety

  8. nina

    If ever I entertain I make a huge platter of delicious sandwiches and it is always the first to go,,,,,,,,I love a good sandwich an the flavors on your sandwich would have been my choice too…!

    ninas last blog post..Spicy Chickpea Stew

  9. Wendy

    I heart sandwiches too! My problem is that I can rarely find a sandwich even close to as good as I could make at home. But then I don’t live in London… My favourites (so far as I remember) were eaten in The Mountain Cafe in Aviemore and in Cafe Kuppen in Stockholm.
    Look forward to seeing if you can find a 10/10.

    Wendys last blog post..Songs To Run To

  10. Jonathan

    Good afternoon fellow sandwich obsessive!

    Thanks so much for emailing me about your sandwich project. It looks like it is going to be massively brilliant. In no way whatsoever does it “tread on my toes”. The more we all make a fuss about decent sandwiches in London the better. It would be great to join forces every now and again.

    My project is simple – I am trying to find London’s best sandwich since sliced bread. I’m writing this under the guise of “The Sandwichist” for Londonist. So far it has been great fun. I’m trying to find a sandwich that catches the mood of the month.

    The last one had an American theme because of the US elections – I had a salt beef sandwich at the Brass Rail in Selfridges. Next month is all about December so I am planning to find something with a Chistmassy theme. And then I suspect January will be something a bit more austere!

    Let’s meet up in early-mid December and talk about Sandwiches. Maybe we should go to Fuzzy’s in St James for a roast turkey and all the trimmings number?

    Jonathans last blog post..Celebratory Bodean’s

  11. Helen

    Hi Jonathan – I am loving the concept, the mood of the month, that salt beef is still in my thoughts. December sounds good and I suspect it is meant to be, as the next place on my list was Fuzzy’s – honestly!

    Let’s do it! Can’t wait to try our hand at a bit of simultaneous sandwich munching and having a good old chatter about it between mouthfuls…

  12. Daziano

    Quince jelly!! I adore that stuff! But it’s like impossible to get here. There’s Chilean or Argentine quince paste though, which is really good too!

  13. Jonathan

    Fantastic. What a coincidence. So how does December 8th sound to you? We could meet at the St Jame’s branch at 1pm…

  14. Helen

    Excellent! December the 8th at 1pm it is. See you there!

  15. Laura Paterson

    Great series – I am going to be craving wheat with every post!!

  16. Christie @ fig&cherry

    Cool post Helen! I also love Wordle – isn’t it the cleverest!? Oh, and sambos (as we call them in Oz) are pretty good too ;)

  17. Joshua

    I’m another sandwich addict. I can’t understand when people say they’re bored of them for lunch as I could eat them multiple times a day. I shall follow these posts with interest.

    Joshuas last blog post..Courgette Soup

  18. Jeanne

    Had to laugh when I saw this, particularly since my most recent recipe was inspired by a sandwich from EAT (who I generally rather like). Will be watchign with interest – nice to know somebody else actually till buys sandwiches and that I’m not the past person on Earth too rubbish to make my own!!

    Jeannes last blog post..Spicy green tomato and apple chutney – move over, Mrs Ball!

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