Bread & Breakfast

Blueberry bagel and pastrami sandwich Blueberry bagel and pastrami sandwich

It might sound like a strange combination but when you consider how salty and sweet go so together well, then, it makes sense. Subtly sweet blueberry bagel and salty pastrami are great partners. Truly.

But why? Where did the idea come from? Okay, when you watch Food Network, you see all those shows where the hosts travel and sample the specialty of every place they visit. When the place visited is somewhere in America, almost always, the sandwiches would be over the top. Bread fried in butter, mounds of filling, gravy over the sandwiches… Most times, the sandwiches could not be eaten with bare hands. Diners would use forks and knives, and ate the sandwiches as though they were eating a steak or a chop.

And the gravy part always make me cringe. Why bother toasting the bread if it’s going to be made soggy with gravy anyway?

And I wondered… just how tall can a sandwich be and still be eaten with the bare hands without the filling falling off. Even a clubhouse sandwich is often held together with toothpicks and cut unto triangles for manageability and convenience. To my mind, a tall sandwich may look good for presentation purposes but not necessarily tasty. And eating a too-tall sandwich may be not be a pleasant experience.

So, I made this sandwich with ALL THAT filling. Lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, pastrami, cheese — and a fried egg on top. And it’s not even nearly as tall as the ones I see featured in those Food Network shows. As I imagined, it was impossible to eat the thing as a sandwich. The egg kept sliding off. I had to remove it and eat it on the side. That’s the downside. The upside is that the sandwich was so good. Like I said, salty and sweet do go together well.

If you want to try this sandwich or something similar, here’s how:

Choose a sweet bread. Not donuts, ok? Something subtly sweet. Buns, bagels or a sweetish loaf bread.

Choose a salty meat. Pastrami, salty ham, bacon, salami…

Choose the greens that will go into the sandwich. The greens aren’t just for decoration. They add a freshness and crispness that contrast with everything else.

If you want more veggies, then, go for it. Onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles…

And then cheese. I like soft cheeses that get gooey. But if you prefer some other cheese texture, by all means, follow you heart’s desire.

Now, about the egg. Is it really necessary? That’s up to you. I love eggs but, as I said earlier, I had to eat it on the side. I didn’t want to squish the sandwich to make it more compact because I didn’t want the runny yolk to burst. Scrambled eggs, perhaps? Why not if that’s your preference.

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