Adding ethnic flavours to sandwiches

February 11 2015

It probably comes as no surprise that sandwiches are one of the leading options when it comes to lunchtime meals. 

According to Technomic's 2014 Canadian Sandwich Consumer Trend Report, 94 per cent of consumers reported eating a sandwich at least once per week, while 35 per cent ate four or more sandwiches every week.

The majority of these sandwiches are eaten at lunch time, with 78 per cent of Canadians eating at least one sandwich at lunch time every month. This is in contrast to the percentage who eat them for breakfast (46 per cent), dinner (58 per cent) or as a snack (41 per cent), reports Restaurant Central.

Since sandwiches are such a popular choice for lunch, it's likely that most operators already include them on their midday menus - but how can you make your sandwich offering even more alluring to your customers? Try looking at other food trends and incorporating them into your sandwiches - after all, sandwiches are very versatile foods and can be re-imagined in countless ways.

The current top trend is to go global. Combining different types of breads, fillings and sauces can result in a delicious sandwich with an ethnic twist - and your customers are sure to love the unusual flavour combinations.

"A notable number of Southeast Asian, Indian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Mexican-inspired sandwich varieties have been added to lunch menus throughout the first half of this year," explains Aimee Harvey, Editor of Global Content at Technomic. 

She says that hot and spicy sauces like sriracha, harissa and chipotle, as well as chilli-pepper toppings and marinated meats are in "the flavour forefront for sandwiches."

For example, at Dev’s Urban Cabana in Calgary, they serve the Pav Bahji. It features a spicy blend of vegetables in tomato gravy on a buttered bun and topped with coriander, red onions, green chillies, tomato and lemon.

Meanwhile, Kalamata in Toronto offers a Lamb Souvlaki pita, which includes marinated lamb with red onions, tomato and tzatziki. There's also the Tikka Kabob Wrap at Aarya Kitchen in Toronto and the Spicy Thai Mango Wrap from Select Sandwich Co in Ontario.