Here are 25 weird sandwich fillers for you to try. They're all safe and mostly nutritious, and they originate from all over the world—so take your time, relax, study the pros and cons, and get sandwich-making!
For all you starving carnivores, there are plenty of meat sandwich fillers; and for the vegetarians and vegans amongst you, there are alternatives.
I guess we all have our own ideas about what should go between two slices of bread, be it white, brown, rye, roggebrod, pumpernickel, farmhouse, or baguette!
For instance, I love banana and grated chocolate between wholewheat sliced as an energy food, but this pales into insignificance when compared to some of the following sandwich fillers.
These sandwich fillers are taken from various sources—myself, family, friends, students, low renters, those with strong stomachs, and other ardent sandwich makers. So make the most of each one and think of them as gastronomic experiments, with you as scientific guinea pigs.
If the Earl of Sandwich is looking down on us from his parlour in the sky, I can only say thanks for the invention; each day, millions swallow your surname!
Bon appetit! And maybe someday you'll be inventing sandwich fillers of your own.
1. Breakfast at Sea
The first offering comes on wholemeal bread and is a nutritious mix of protein spiced up with a crunchy accompaniment, adding an edge to an interesting unseasoned lunchtime snack.
Fishpaste usually comes in a jar, but you could upgrade this sandwich filler by frying your own white fish and mashing it up with mayo or olive oil.
Grab yourself a big bun, fill it, make fresh coffee or tea and enjoy this substantial meal-in-one, basically an all-day breakfast. You don't have to go to sea.
Ingredients: Fishpaste, gherkin, sausage, pickle, and fried egg
2. Two's Company
Next up on the plate is a student's delight. When you've run out of staple foods and your cupboard is bare, your fridge empty and the freezer a vast white space of nothingness, reach for the last two items available.
Ingredients: French mustard and Apricot preserve
A thin layer of French mustard on one slice. A thin layer of apricot preserve on the other. Enjoy?
Alternative? Always: horseradish sauce and runny honey, a definite winner.
3. Three in a Bed
This third sandwich filler would grace any vegetarian's lunch box. It has a common base but takes off with the addition of an unusual and peppery plant. So, prepare to have your tongue stuck to the roof of your mouth and your teeth full of little green mashed-up bits.
Ingredients: Crunchy peanut butter, alfalfa sprouts, mayonnaise
Commercial mayonnaise (or salad cream) sometimes lacks that extra bit of je ne sais quoi, but you could use a thick olive oil based dressing if so desired and pop rocket salad leaves in there instead of alfafa sprouts.
4. All Red
Fourth is a low-rent affair that smacks of male desperation and quick-fix tactics. The saving grace is a little red vegetable. At a push, it could be toasted. Check this one out.
Ingredients: Cold baked beans, ketchup, sliced tomato
Beetroot is full of minerals and vitamins and will enhance this filler no end. Plus, beetroot is redder than red.
5. Green Sleeves
At number five comes this delicate yet eye-watering masterpiece. Four fascinating ingredients that would put a smile on any vegetarian's face and a stare of bewilderment on everyone else's.
Ingredients: Dandelion leaves, endives, sliced radishes, cream cheese, raw onion, mustard
Rye bread or seedy wholemeal will do for this beauty. Add crisp fresh lettuce leaves for that extra crunch.
A Japanese work of art that when served on a train comes in an oblong container.
Ingredients: Pork cutlet, cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce, pickle, Worcestershire sauce
Worcestershire sauce ... WOR ... CESTER ... SHIRE (pronounced Wust-a-sher in England) can overwhelm certain foods, so be careful when using. An addictive sauce.
7. Beach Bum
A truly exotic little number. Take some meat that has recently been swimming, something from the sea, and a classic British sauce and what have you got?
Ingredients: Tinned sardines or pilchards, seaweed, Worcestershire sauce
Seaweed can be difficult to find in the supermarket, so substitute raw onion, shallot rings or a garlic dressing and wait for the taste to burst through.
8. Sweet Banger
This combination again involves meat with something sweet. Sounds like a Hollywood marriage.
Ingredients: Sausages, raw onion, marmalade or sliced fresh apple
9. Tangy One
Cheese features highly in this smorgasbord, as you'd expect. Who hasn't eaten a cheese and pickle sandwich in their lifetime? Or a cheese and ham special? For those with more ambition, how about this one:
Ingredients: Mature farmhouse cheddar, crisps (chips), fruit jam (jelly), and mayonnaise
10. Double Date
This next concoction is for the discerning palate. At first it sounds a bit odd, but the more you think about it, the more you want to eat it.
Ingredients: Sliced fried potatoes, liver pate, cranberry jelly, French mustard
11. Sweet Eve
This next one tastes much better on dark rye bread, or pumpernickel, as the Germans call it. Rumour has it that in some parts of Scotland, certain takeaways offer deep-fried Mars Bars for sale, which makes this sandwich filler sound quite appetising!
Ingredients: Melted Snickers Bar, sliced apple, cold custard
12. Seaside Delight
Fish fingers (fish sticks), in some people's eyes, were made for bread slices. It's the way they line up so neatly onto the square sliced bread to produce an abstract picture fit for any modern art gallery. Now, try to imagine this next beauty on your plate.
Ingredients: Fish fingers (sticks), mayonnaise, mustard, sliced boiled egg, lettuce, and balsamic vinaigrette
13. Diner Mash
You'd be forgiven if you refused this next sandwich were it presented to you on fine bone china in a five-star restaurant as a guest of honour at the International Sandwich Maker's Guild annual world gathering.
Ingredients: Mashed potato, mashed hot dog sausage, sliced gherkins, sweet pickle, mayonnaise
You're allowed to toast this one if you want to give it that extra zing.
14. Rabbit's Delight
OK. Vegans can start cheering. This exquisite green delight is ideal if you want to boost your vitamin and mineral intake. Probably best eaten in sunshine, in a garden, with ice cool water on the table.
Ingredients: Several lettuce leaves, cucumber slices, peppers, rocket leaf, parsley, chutney, white wine vinaigrette
15. Down Under
Depending on your budget, diet, and lifestyle, this next item could be a breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal in one. This down-to-earth work of art hails from Australia, hence the inclusion of an optional Vegemite!
Ingredients: Fried strips of bacon, cooked noodles, a sprinkle of brown sugar, one poached egg
16. Italian Submarine
This piece de resistance carries a warning. Treat with respect, or the consequences could be alarming.
Ingredients: Fried Bologna, sliced tomato, mustard, tabasco sauce, sweet pickle, optional salad leaf
Strong stomachs recommended for this filler.
17. Sweet Touch
A definite low renter that's on a par with ketchup, brown sauce, apple jelly, and prune juice spread thinly across white bread. With no additions!
Ingredients: Apricot puree spread thin as glue, honey plus thin apple slices, and hummus on white or brown sliced
18. Dorchester Hobo
Sandwich experts will be puzzled by this curious meeting of common and exotic ingredients. You've heard of the down and out worth millions, right? This is the sandwich equivalent.
Ingredients: Smoked salmon or trout, processed cheese slices, dill, gherkin, pickle, mayonnaise or salad cream
19. The Hunter Gatherer
The low renter par excellence. Use jelly and peanut butter for a sweeter alternative.
Ingredients: Leftover crisps (chips), the bottom of the mustard jar, diluted pickle remains
20. The French Cavalier
A meaty compilation that's best eaten with close friends and carnivores who don't mind having their mouths full when smiling, laughing, burping, in conversation or simply staring at the walls.
Ingredients: Beef slices, stuffing (a mixture of onions, breadcrumbs and herbs), fried egg, capers, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard
21. The Country Millionaire
Served on wholemeal or homemade bread, this razzling nutritious magnificence will last you all day if eaten just before noon (and washed down with juice, beer, ginger ale or milk).
Ingredients: Stilton cheese, sliced tomato, chopped onion, lettuce, pickle, English mustard, seasoning
22. Home Run
Peanut butter makes its second appearance, but don't be too hasty to try this student special that was hatched in the USA but could go viral. Best eaten on a toastie.
Ingredients: Peanut butter, grated apple/ spread, banana slices, mayonnaise
23. Matron Knows Best
Another low renter from the dark ages, served on crustless white bread or rolls or dry crusts or similar. Especially for cold, dark winter days.
Ingredients: Suet (hard white fat from cows and other farm animals), or bacon fat or corned beef slices or bacon rinds, plus strawberry jam (jelly) or thick-cut marmalade
24. Greek Popeye
One of those exotic sandwiches that come our way every so often—this can be developed to kingdom come because the basics are so solid. Best eaten toasted.
Ingredients: Sweet potato, spinach leaves, balsamic vinaigrette, feta cheese
Known as the widowmaker, this is a basic food best eaten by desperadoes, meat addicts, and those who don't know any better.
Ingredients: Dripping (the cold white fat left over from cooked beef/pork), horseradish sauce, seasoning, best with dry white sliced
Guest Spot: Japanese Welcome
You'll want to compose a haiku after eating these delicious white bread delicacies.
Ingredients: Raw fish, yellow pickle, thin cheese, lettuce, herbs, and seasoning
Bonus Sandwich Filler: The Dark Invader
An acquired taste. Best served on dark rye, roggebrod, pumpernickel.
Ingredients: Banana sliced, bacon, chocolate spread
Now It's Your Turn to Invent a Sandwich Filler
So you've gone through all 25 extreme sandwich fillers. From the sublime to the ridiculous. There has to be one that best suits your personality.
In the unlikely event that this is not the case, then please feel free to invent your own out of the following ingredients:
- Beetroot slices, peppers, capers, Old Limburger cheese, and hot relish.
- Rocket salad, olive oil, sardines, and cooked rice.
- Fried egg, Worcestershire sauce.
© 2012 Andrew Spacey