(Family Features) - America has been called a sandwich nation - and with over 45 billion sandwiches eaten each year, it's easy to see why. They are portable, nutritious, satisfying and offer a variety of tastes to suit just about every palate.
The sandwich's lasting popularity derives from the creativity food lovers have shown over the years to find new ways to house a meal between pieces of bread. A little imagination can turn a platter of sandwiches into a sensational assortment of unexpected pairings of meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits and spreads. Here's how to dream up and create a sandwich of your own:
Bread: It holds it all together. If you are traditionally a white bread lover, try out different varieties such as whole grain, rye, pumpernickel, Kaiser Rolls, boules or baguettes. You'll be surprised by the taste switch this change can make.
Protein: Meats sliced on request at the deli counter assures freshness and provides a range of offerings that are rich in protein, low in fat and high in taste. Sliced solid white meat turkey breast, coated in seasoning and oven roasted, pairs well with a range of sandwich ingredients and spreads.
Cheese: With cheeses from around the world now available in the local grocery store, there are plenty of chances to experiment with new flavor combinations.
Veggies: Piling on vegetables provides a mix of surprising tastes, crunch and nutrients, too.
Fruits: Don't save fruit for dessert. Get creative and add apple and pear slices, berries and more to your sandwich for a note of tangy sweetness.
The Bread Bowl Sandwich is a perfect way to liven up a meal for family or lunchtime guests. Using a sesame boule or any other round bun that can be hollowed out, fill it with chopped up turkey breast, bacon, blue and Colby Jack cheeses, hardboiled egg, lettuce, avocado and cherry tomatoes, and you've created an entirely new concept in sandwich making. Drizzle dressing over the mixture, cover it with the top and dig in. Or, enjoy the preparation as a salad and eat the sandwich top as a side of bread.
For more creative sandwich ideas, visit www.boarshead.com.