Not so long ago, vegan sandwich options were almost non-existent, but in the last few years things have changed. What do you think are the key ingredients?
There weren’t many vegan sandwiches on the shelves just a few years ago, save for the occasional ‘hummus sandwich’, which tasted as depressing as it sounds! But now, a whole range of plant-based and vegan friendly options are on offer, with brands and retailers getting more involved on meat-free diets.
But not all vegan sandwiches are made equal – there are some pretty dire creations out there. So what do you think makes a great vegan sandwich? Here are my opinions – let me know if you agree!
It should be exciting
Meat eaters get a plethora of combinations; egg and bacon, tuna and sweetcorn, English breakfast and so on. Vegan options should be on the same level, with a diverse range of exciting fillings. When there are so many easy wise to make a vegan filling interesting, like with chutneys or relishes, simply chucking vegetables between two slices of bread won’t cut it. Speaking of which…
It should be in the right medium
Vegan fillings can differ a lot from typical sandwich fillings. Sometimes, that means that sliced bread won’t be right. Well thought-out vegan sandwiches will come in the right medium, whether that be a wrap, bun or even pastry. Adding extra flavour to these, such as with beetroot or herbs, makes them even better.
Meat substitutes need to be worth it
There are plenty of fake meats now available, often made from plant-based proteins. But unless they actually taste good and have a similar texture to real meat, they’re not worth putting in a sandwich in my opinion..
Some of them end up feeling mushy when you eat them, whilst others have too much salt in them to make up for flavour differences. Only a great meat substitute will end up making a great vegan sandwich.
Don’t use fake mayo or cheese if you don’t need to
Meat alternatives can be hit or miss, but in my experience vegan mayo and cheese options can be a minefield. Right now, I don’t think a lot of them taste nice at all, but they are an easy way to bulk out a vegan sandwich. If a sandwich doesn’t taste good as is, adding these fake alternatives is unlikely to make a difference.
It should be as good as a regular sandwich
Ultimately, I think a great vegan sandwich will be ‘great’ if it can rival a non-vegan sandwich. I think vegan options have been sidelined and undervalued in the past, with poor fillings and little effort put into their development.
But now there’s no excuse for weak vegan options. I’d like to see companies upping their game and offering vegan-friendly products that are just as tasty as their meat counterparts.
Over to you!
What does a great vegan sandwich look like to you? And what do you think of the rise of vegan options from shops and cafes?
Agree with my reasoning above? Let’s discuss it in the comments.