Sweet Fruit Is The Key To Elevating The Umami Flavors In Any Sandwich

In the realm of gourmet sandwiches, much is made of the satisfying pairing of sweet and savory flavors. A bacon sandwich becomes married to a slather of onion jam, honey mingles with brie cheese in a melt, and sticky balsamic vinegar coats a tomato and mozzarella panini. But nothing enhances the savory richness of a sandwich like the addition of bright, juicy fruit. Sporting both natural sugars and acidity, fresh fruit brings something special to the meat, cheese, and bread formula. 

Before you buck this idea, consider all of the classic dishes that get a decadent boost from fruit. Think of what chopped grapes bring to a chicken salad or how a few slices of Granny Smith apple help heighten the flavors of cheddar on the cheese board. Any one of your favorite sandwich recipes could benefit from wedges of pears, apples, melons, or even peaches. So, what are some fruity ideas to jump-start your next stellar sandwich?  

Pairing sweet and savory for a flavor-packed sandwich

Let's kick it off with a traditional idea: adding pears or apples to elevate a melty grilled cheese. Pair a sharp cheddar or mild provolone and turkey base with sweeter apple varieties like Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp, and save the funkier cheeses, like gorgonzola or blue cheese, with tart Granny Smith. Meanwhile, honeyed pear works wonders with the earthy richness of brie and camembert. Or, you can swap the pears for fresh figs. Basically, any fruit and cheese combo you'd enjoy on a cheese board should transform perfectly into a grilled cheese combo. 

As for fruit and meat, the salty savoriness of cured meats, like prosciutto and salami, blends very nicely with the mellow sweetness of honeydew melon and cantaloupe. This also applies to a classic ham or bacon-based sandwich, which can benefit from a sweet bit of melon or pear to cut through its salt. On the other side, shredded apples and pears can complement the porky-richness of sausage patties and brats. 

Any sandwich that makes use of sauerkraut, like a Reuben, could also use tart apples. For pulled pork enthusiasts, consider adding beautiful fresh peaches to your barbecue slider, as the jammy sweetness of the stone fruit can work wonders with tangy barbecue sauce and fatty pork. Once you begin bringing the fruit bowl into your sandwich-making, you'll unlock a whole new level of flavor.