Why Sandwiches Taste Better From A Deli

There's just something about a sandwich from a deli that makes it taste better than any you make at home. Take a turkey club, for example. It's just turkey, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and sometimes mayo, between two slices of bread. But even if you make a sandwich with all these same ingredients, it still falls short compared to the deli version. While food may tend to taste better when it's made by someone other than yourself, this isn't the only reason sandwiches from the deli always seem to reign supreme. Quality has a lot to do with it, too.


Sandwiches made in a deli are usually made with higher-quality meats and cheeses. However, the kind you'd buy at the store (from the cold cut section, not from the deli counter) is usually chock full of preservatives. The fresher the meat is, the better a sandwich will ultimately taste. But using premium ingredients alone won't result in a deli-quality sandwich.

Maximizing flavor

Like any other meal, a good sandwich comes down to a balance of flavors. You don't technically have to measure out all your sandwich toppings, but ideally, there shouldn't be any one ingredient that overpowers everything else. This is easy to neglect, especially when it comes to the bread. You can put an equal amount of every topping just like the delis do, but it won't matter if there's a higher ratio of bread to sandwich fillings. To make your sandwich taste like it was made in a deli, don't forget to scoop out excess bread from the bun.


When it comes to condiments, most homemade sandwiches stick to the standard mayonnaise and mustard combo, but deli ones layer on much more flavor. Sometimes that means adding extra seasoning to the mayo, or including other sauces like pesto or barbecue sauce. Dressing every single ingredient also goes a long way. A lot of times sandwiches don't taste as good simply because they're too bland.

How they're served makes a difference

When you get a sandwich from a deli, it typically isn't served to you on a plate, or alone in a container. Instead, it's usually wrapped up in parchment paper or foil. You probably skip this step when you make sandwiches at home, but it actually makes a big difference. When sandwiches are wrapped, all of the toppings and condiments get all pressed up against each other, effectively marrying the flavors.


Marrying flavors is common in cooking, and it happens when all the different ingredients and seasonings steep in each other's flavors, like when you sweat the vegetables in a mirepoix, or let cookie dough sit overnight. While sandwiches don't require cooking, marrying their flavors can still be done, and the most effective way to go about it is to wrap them in parchment paper. If you're trying to make a deli-style sandwich, this is just as important as using high-quality meats or layering on the condiments.