The sandwich is just barely older than the United States’ most cherished democratic institutions — and although an American did not invent the sandwich, it remains an American institution itself.
A new survey of 2,000 US residents suggests a remarkable degree of consensus on the hand-held meal’s best ingredients.
The perfect sandwich, according to the will of the American people, requires slices of tomato (with 54 percent of those polled in agreement), cheddar cheese (39 percent in agreement) and Black Forest ham (39 percent agree).
Although America’s favorite condiment is ketchup (enjoying a 61 percent approval rating), only a vanishing few would recommend adding it to a cold ham sandwich.
But that was not all that the new survey uncovered.
For starters, a majority of Americans would also like their sandwich toasted please (58 percent agree).
The perfect sandwich, according to a survey of 2,000 US residents, requires slices of tomato (54 percent of those polled in agreement), cheddar cheese (39 percent in agreement) and Black Forest ham (39 percent). The majority, 58 percent, also wanted their sandwich toasted
As seen with the BLT sandwich pictured, approximately 33 percent of the Americans polled expressed a preference for having their sandwich made with two slices of multigrain bread
The random, double-opt-in survey was commissioned by the Illinois-based lunchmeat provider Buddig and conducted by market research company OnePoll this July.
Two out of three US residents polled (67 percent) claimed that they could survive on just sandwiches alone for one full week.
The Americans polled also showed a majority opinion on the top vegetable toppings within their sandwich: onions (54-percent agreement), and cucumber (51 percent).
As for condiments, 58 percent of Americans looked at barbecue sauce, mayonnaise and honey mustard favorably, with ranch dressing landing as the least favorite down at 26 percent.
The best American sandwich ingredients, by public decree
TOP 5 CONDIMENTS PEOPLE WOULD PREFER IN A PERFECT SANDWICH
● Ketchup – 61%
● Barbecue sauce – 58%
● Mayonnaise – 58%
● Honey mustard – 58%
● Mustard – 56%
TOP 5 FRUITS AND VEGETABLES PREFERRED IN A PERFECT SANDWICH
● Tomato – 54%
● Onion – 54%
● Cucumber – 51%
● Lettuce – 47%
● Pickles – 46%
TOP 5 MEAT PREFERRED IN A PERFECT SANDWICH BY US RESIDENTS
● Black Forest Ham – 39%
● Ham – 39%
● Honey Turkey – 39%
● Honey Ham – 39%
● Black Forest Turkey – 37%
TOP 5 CHEESES PEOPLE WOULD PREFER IN A PERFECT SANDWICH
● Cheddar cheese – 39%
● Swiss cheese – 36%
● American cheese – 36%
● Pepper jack cheese – 31%
● Provolone cheese – 30%
Black Forest ham shared its favorability ranking with near runners-up honey turkey, honey ham, and regular ham near the same 39 percent approval rating.
When it comes to cheeses, the most preferred after cheddar were found to be Swiss and American (36 percent approval each), with the Alpine hard Swiss Gruyère cheese ranking at the bottom of the list (only 1 percent approval).
While it’s what inside that counts, many American’s expressed preferences for sandwiches enclosed in either whole wheat bread (37 percent), sourdough (36 percent) or multigrain bread (33 percent).
‘Given the rising cost of groceries, the majority of those polled have switched over to preparing meals at home,’ according to Buddig’s executive vice president of marketing, Tom Buddig.
Among respondents, 67 percent said that they personally felt that sandwiches were a good economic value — providing, in Buddig’s words, ‘protein options that are both tasty and affordable.’
For 42 percent of the 2,000 US residents polled, cutting costs amid rising food prices has been a growing concern — with 67 percent (a two-thirds majority vote) in agreement that sandwiches are a solid, cost-saving meal.
But Americans love their sandwiches on their own merits too, telling the OnePoll survey team that they crave a sandwich about four times a week.
Amid all this consensus however, there were clear ideological fault lines: 29 percent of Americans preferred simpler toppings and described their sandwich approach as ‘minimalist.’
Another 27 percent defined themselves as ‘savory lovers,’ in contrast to the 15 percent of Americans who reported that they were ‘sweet tooth’ sandwich consumers.
‘A sandwich provides an affordable and convenient option no matter what time they can take a moment to eat in their busy schedule,’ according to Tom Buddig.
And, in fact, there was a broad-based consensus among Americans in favor of enjoying a sandwich during nontraditional hours, outside of lunch (59 percent approval rating).
‘Today, people are working differently than before,’ Buddig said. ‘Lunchtime can be different times of day for different people based on their circumstances.’
While many Americans reported that they enjoyed having a sandwich in the comfort of their own home (36 percent) or at a public park (36 percent) — their true preference, according to the survey, was at the beach (38 percent).
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