Innovate Blog
Open top sandwiches – The Czech trend with worldwide appeal

Wednesday April 17, 2019

Sandwiches are anything but new – we’ve been eating them for centuries and picking them up pre-packed since the early 80s when Marks & Spencer came up with the smart idea to sell prepared, packaged sandwiches. However, recently we have seen a reinvention of the humble sandwich with the open top sandwich trend, which has become extremely popular in cafes around the country.

An open top sandwich is simply a piece of bread with a topping of choice, without the second slice of bread on top. This style of sandwich was said to be invented in the Czech Republic by Jan Paukert, a famed delicatessen owner. A family friend of Jan Paukert asked for a quick bite, something he could hold in his hand while he was working on paintings, and Jan served him a slice of bread with fish paste and anchovy on it.  The sandwich was then offered to customers and was such a hit that it is considered a must have when visiting the Czech Republic.

Over the past couple of years open top sandwiches have become popular around the world, a universal snack that looks good, tastes good and is relatively easy to make. They can be served for any occasion, from formal receptions to informal parties or simply as an affordable fast food for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The home of the open top sandwich, Czech Republic, serve them as a slice of white bread, topped with a layer of potato salad or other salad, a slice of ham, hard-boiled egg, pickled cucumber or pepper, and a parsley sprig on top. They might also have toppings like salami, cheese or fish, often with mayonnaise. However recently there have been many other varieties on this, for example, it can be topped with smashed avocado, mozzarella and tomato, or even Greek yogurt, banana and honey to make a sweet treat.

Quick service restaurant Pret A Manger has recently introduced a selection of open top sandwiches to their spring menu, which customers can enjoy in the café or on-the-go. Pret A Manger claim that their new menu for spring is the biggest menu shake-up the business has had in 33 years. The open top sandwich selection, set to launch in stores in the next few weeks, includes, smashed avocado, chicken caesar, and coconut and berry.

If you are considering serving open top sandwiches in a street food environment, or for your customer to enjoy on-the-go or at the comfort of their own home then it is important to make sure that you have the right food packaging for the job. At Bunzl Catering Supplies we have a wide variety of food packaging options to suit your needs.

If serving for customers to enjoy outdoors in a street food environment, then a sturdy tray might be the best option. At Bunzl Catering Supplies, we sell food on-the-go trays in lots of materials, shapes and sizes, including foam, foil, rPET (made from recycled PET – and recyclable) cardboard and bagasse (made from sugar cane – and compostable).

For serving open top sandwiches for customers to enjoy on-the-go or from the comfort of their own home, then the BePulp Grab&Go range from our supplier of food packaging Sabert is a great option. BePulp Grab&Go is a range eco-friendly food packaging for on-the-go lifestyles with trays are made from bagasse, which are EN13432 certified compostable, and lids made from recycled PET (rPET), which can be recycled by 99 per cent of local authorities. The rPET lid offers great visibility of the open top sandwich giving the customer the opportunity to see the product before buying.

To find out more about our food packaging options that are suitable for serving open top sandwiches, please take a look at our food packaging e-brochure or contact Bunzl Catering Supplies today.

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