No, don’t groan, there’s no harm in knowing that a word in your own language is exactly identical, except for the pronunciation, in French. It may be very useful not to search your brain for what it might be, when in truth it is just “sandwich“.
So, sandwich, masculine noun, le sandwich (the sandwich), un sandwich (a sandwich), des sandwiches (sandwiches). Pronounced saand-weech.
The French are great sandwich eaters (mangeurs de sandwich). The legendary French lunch hour, which used to last at least two hours and enabled everybody either to return home or to eat in a restaurant, has been seriously curtailed, until 30 minutes now is generous, but people sometimes take much less. And they like to take sandwiches on trains, on picnics, and generally whenever they know they are going to need an “en cas” (something to nibble). The most ordinary everyday sandwich is a “jambon beurre” (ham, butter), but which when lovingly made, can be superb, with fresh crusty baguette, buttered with unsalted or (in Brittany) salted butter, and a good fat slice of jambon à l’os (a slice hand cut off a whole ham), is heavenly. Another favourite is “saucisson beurre” (French dried sausage), with or without “cornichons” (gherkins). Or “rillettes” (pork scrapings). No butter here, too rich.
My recipe for today is a sandwich à la truite fumée et aux crudités (smoked trout and raw vegetable sandwich), fit for a king or a queen! We have near me here in Quimper a smokery that has received medals for its wonderful smoked trout. You can use smoked salmon of course (saumon fumé). Be careful not to buy just any old smoked salmon or trout. Quality varies greatly. Some are over-coloured and taste of nothing but salt. If you can find organic fish (du poisson bio), buy that. And I used homemade whole grain bread (du pain complet), satisfying, tasty and good for you.
For one sandwich you will need:
- two slices of lightly buttered whole grain bread
- two small slices of smoked trout
- a couple of lettuce leaves
- a couple of small spinach leaves
- 1tsp chopped red onion
- some sprouted seeds (I used sprouted alfalfa and sprouted wheat)
- a spring onion top
- fresh red chili if you like it, or a bit of Tabasco
- NO salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper
- a few drops of lemon juice
- grated carrot (optional)
- Butter the bread lightly (go right to the very edges of the crust, it’s so much nicer than getting a mouthful of dry crust which is about as easy to eat as a t-shirt…)
- Place the leaves on the bread, overlapping the edges if possible, topped with the trout
- Spread all the other ingredients around, add a bit of fresh chili (I’m a chili nut)
- Put the top slice over the bottom slice, and press down hard so that you can get your mouth around it.
This sandwich will keep fairly well if made the night before for your lunchbox the next day. It will keep extremely well if made the same morning and wrapped tightly in cling film or tin foil. It is packed with nutrition and is a damned site nicer than a cheeseburger.