The Sinner's Sandwich—a sandwich with ingredients so bizarre that it's been described as self-inflicted punishment to atone for past sins. With its unorthodox mixture of cereal, turkey, and jam all inside of one sandwich, could this truly be the simplest way to heal your soul after killing the school hamster, or is it just leading you further down the road of self-destruction?
The Sinner's Sandwich can almost certainly be created with things that you already have, which instantly bumps it up a few places on my favorite recipes list. When you stop and think about it, there are very few sensations in this world that rival the feeling of randomly deciding to make something and knowing you don't have to go out to get the components.
For reference, the basic recipe for a Sinner's Sandwich is turkey, strawberry jam, and the cereal of your choice. On this review, I used the following:
- Mrs. Baird's Whole Grain White Bread
- Oscar Meyer "Selects" Slow Roasted Turkey
- Smucker's Strawberry Jam
- Bran Flakes
All that really needs to be done is to place the jam on one piece of bread, cover the jam with cereal, put the turkey on the other piece of bread, and then place them together. As always, do not place any appendages into a nearby toaster.
Let's get right to the meat of this: the sandwich tastes fantastic. While it's true that jam is not something you'd normally put on your turkey sandwiches, I've been told that the idea is fairly similar to a turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich like you'd have around Thanksgiving.
Regardless, there is something special about the taste of the Sinner's Sandwich, and it's not just that you get to celebrate Thanksgiving early. It's everything you'd want in a sandwich—and even some stuff you didn't even know you wanted. The cereal barrier between the two keeps the flavors from blending together too much, giving you the savory turkey flavor before you're blasted with a sweet jammy aftertaste. In my recipe, the Bran Flakes worked perfectly with the sandwich; it never added its own flavor, but acted as a thin layer of "bread" of sorts. It didn't introduce any new or distracting flavor, only added to the overall texture.
On top of serving as a flavor barrier of sorts, the cereal gives the sandwich a really satisfying texture with each bite. The jam does have an effect on the crunchiness of the cereal in the sense that it less crunchy than it would be in its pure form, however, but it complements the bread perfectly and gives the sandwich just the right amount of resistance it needs, especially considering how soft turkey and jam can be.
All of this being said, one of the main reasons I posted the recipe I used above is because it's one of the few that I've found to work. If you decide to try the Sinner's Sandwich for yourself, by all means put any deviations from the recipe I showed you above into your own creation. There are some key things to look out for, however, as they can all but ruin the sandwich.
The main things to look out for is flavoring. The type of bread doesn't matter nearly as much as what flavor of ingredients you use. Fruity cereal, smokey meat, and tart jam are all huge no-no's, and they're almost sure to ruin the taste for you unless you're some sort of sandwich wizard. Other than that, anything that is relatively close to those flavors should be okay. Strawberry jelly, Cheerios, and Honey-smoked turkey would probably work out just fine.
With the deviations comes another key point: practice. I'm not going to pretend to be a Sinner's Sandwich guru and crawl into your home through your ventilation system so I can scowl at you while you make your own, but there is a little bit of trial and error on trying to find a good balance of ingredients that works for you. You don't want a sandwich that's too meaty, nor do you want a sandwich that's too sweet—finding the right balance between the two is something that you'll only find after trying to make the sandwich a few times.
Half the fun of making food is eating your failed creations, though, so it all works out.
The sandwich can be incredibly messy if you're not careful. This actually comes from the cereal layer mentioned earlier. The turkey really doesn't seem to agree with some types of cereal I've used, and there have been times where the turkey just tries to sneak out of the sandwich while I'm not paying attention, leaving scattered bits of Bran Flakes and jam everywhere. I've tried making extra sure my turkey is dead, before you ask, so I think it's all a texture.
I did not feel any closer to any god after eating this sandwich. For purely scientific purposes, I repeated this test periodically and received the same results. Do not use this sandwich in lieu of confession.
The Sinner's Sandwich is one of the more unique tastes for sandwiches I've had in quite some time. While I'm usually not one to enjoy sweet sandwiches, as seen from my tendency to avoid relish like the plague, the Sinner's Sandwich gets ludicrously close to perfection in balance, taste, and texture.
In short: you really should try this wonderful lunch. It really is more than a delicious tasty crunch.
So says Mr. Stewart.