Apple Slices Deserve A Place On Your Next Ham Sandwich

There's nothing like a good ham sandwich. Whether you grew up eating it for lunch at school, with classic black forest deli cut ham, or piled together a sandwich with spiral ham leftovers from a Sunday dinner, you'll know the savory excellence of a good ham sandwich. Yet, one does not simply have a ham sandwich when there are so many additions available. Why not try adding something sweet to balance the saltiness of the ham? Why not take that apple that mom always packed in with your lunches, slice it up, and add it to your sandwich? 

Apple slices do, indeed, deserve a spot on your next ham sandwich. The sweetness in flavor and crisp complexity of the texture of apple slices balances out the savory flavors of the ham, regardless of what varieties you're using. Apples and pork have a long history of being paired together. It stands that ham, a pork product, with its intense saltiness and smoke, works well when paired with the crunchy tartness of apple slices. 

There is no reason to think of apples as anything less than an important element of the sandwich. Like cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and spreads like mayonnaise and mustard, apples can play an important role in developing the flavor profile of your sandwich. 

Building a magnificent ham and cheese sandwich

Creating a craveable ham sandwich is a matter of compiling the right elements. Starting with bread, you can use anything from standard sliced whole wheat bread to focaccia to homemade sourdough and tangy rye bread. Use whatever ham you have available; deli, spiral, or leftovers from a roast are all acceptable. Great cheese options include classics like cheddar and Swiss, and more elegant choices like Brie and Gruyere. 

For the apple slices, you want something that is going to be sweet enough to battle the saltiness of the previous components but also has a crisp texture. Granny Smith apples work really well for this. Not only are they complex in terms of their sweet and tart flavor, but they are among the most structurally sound of apples, meaning that they won't turn to mush if you decide to make a panini. Honey crisp, empire, and pink lady apples are also good options. 

As far as condiments go, there really is only one for ham: mustard. This could be yellow, spicy brown, honey, or Dijon mustard depending on how spicy you want it. The spicier ones pair best with apples because the sweetness counteracts the volatile compounds in the mustard. So, all told, you have yourself a robust, well-balanced sandwich full of flavor and texture. You really can't beat it.

Static Media owns the brands Tasting Table and The Daily Meal.