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sandwich it ihow to build a better sandwich
by Yee-Fan Sun 
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continued from page 2

the condiments that bind
Of course, no sandwich is complete without the all-powerful condiment, which not only helps keep the bread and ingredients nicely bound together, but adds a good dose of flavor as well. Now, when most people think sandwich condiments, they think mayo vs. mustard (maybe Miracle Whip, though personally, I find this last somewhat scary and vile). There's a reason mayonnaise and mustard have become sandwich classics -- they do a great job of helping your sandwich stay together, and they keep for a good long time in the fridge. As long as you're using real mayo and a quality mustard (I like a country-style Dijon mustard myself, the good strong kind in which you can still see the lovely mustard seeds), these condiments can be pretty tasty too.

But there's also a whole world of condiment goodness that lies beyond the familiar mayo and mustard. Hummus and cream cheese come in an array of scrumptious, ready-to-use flavor variations and are both perfect for slathering onto sandwich bread. Using guacamole, pesto, tapenade, or cranberry sauce can transform a boring sandwich into something worthy of the schmanciest of gourmet sandwich shops. Just about any dip, sauce, chutney or spread can be co-opted for use in a sandwich; get creative with your condiments, and you'll never have to eat a boring sandwich again.

under construction
So you've gotten inspired; all stocked up on the ingredients for your fabulous gourmet sandwich, you're ready to start putting that baby together. Before you start laying things down willy-nilly, here are a few tips on proper sandwich building technique…

1 The first step, of course, will be cutting two slices of bread for yourself (assuming you're using a loaf, that is). Use a proper bread knife and be generous with your slices; each one should be between ½" and ¾" of an inch thick, substantial enough to support all your sandwich fillings and provide plenty of yummy bread chew.
2 For each slice of bread, spread on a nice even layer of your chosen condiment or condiments -- not too thick, not too skimpy. You want enough mayo/mustard/whatever to bind the sandwich together, but not so much that even the tiniest bite into your sandwich would cause the condiments to ooze out and down your fingers.
3 Building atop of one of the slices of bread, layer on your greens and heavier veggies (red peppers, cukes and the like).
4 Add your main filling (cheese, meat, whatever). If the filling ingredients are flat, you'll want to try to create some volume if at all possible. Having whisper-thin slices of meat or cheese will make this easier; instead of just slapping down each slice, try to twist and fold the slices to give them more height. I don't know why this makes the sandwich taste better, but seriously: it makes a big difference.
5 Finish off with any light veggies (sprouts, herbs) and a good sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper. Pop on the second slice of bread, slide the whole thing into your favorite plastic container, and look forward to lunch!


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