Did you know there is a British Sandwich Association that promotes the consumption, improvement, innovation and excellence of sandwiches?
Do we need an organisation to promote sandwiches? Haven’t they swamped the lunchtime trade anyway? Judging by the estimated 11.5 billion sandwiches a year made both commercially and in the home, it would seem a tad unnecessary.
Not surprisingly, Tesco sells the most. Chicken is our favourite filling followed by ham and egg.
But the BSA exists, so let’s hope it can have an effect on companies selling sub-standard sandwiches on trains and in petrol stations.
The organisation holds annual awards and in 2011 Delaney’s in Southsea was a Gold Award winner in the Independent Sandwich Bar of the Year category.
This small cafe is now in its sixth year of making sandwiches, offering more than 40 different ones, using hand-cut granary or white bread, baguettes, paninis, wraps and bagels.
Fillings include the New Yorker (frankfurter, mozzarella and pastrami); Deli Classic (pastrami, wholegrain mustard and gherkin); Mediterranean (feta, peppers, hoummous); egg mayo and crispy bacon; smoked salmon with cream cheese and lemon; plus there’s egg, ham, cheese, turkey, tuna, corned beef, sausage etc.
They also do jacket potatoes, breakfasts (Breakfast in a Box to take away or Bumper Breakfast), soups, salads and cakes. Drinks include smoothies, espresso, and Americano.
With British Sandwich Week running from May 12, I had to go to try out Delaney’s. My lunch choice was a chicken, lime and coriander wrap with rocket. Made in an open kitchen in the small café, with its pure white chairs and tables, newspapers, music and a sofa, it came with a salad for the princely sum of £2.80. Excellent moist chicken with a good dose of lime married well with the rocket.
However, mayo was not mentioned and it clashed with the more Asian ingredients. Most commercial sandwiches are made with mayo and I find it a real turn-off as they all taste the same, ersatz mayo being very bland and quite sickly.
As the other ingredients shone, the wrap still managed to hit a decent high though. A good smoothie, mango and raspberry, was beautifully chilled, while an iced carrot cake (more Christmas than carrot) was a pleasantly filling end to my meal.
The two smart women who run this outfit have a degree of hospitality pretty well unmatched in the area, nothing but nothing too much trouble for them. For this alone they have won an award in my book.
Their guest book, open on the counter, seems to sum up the views of its many customers.
‘I love Delaney’s a bit too much,’ one frequent sandwich-buyer wrote.
I spent just under £7.
Delaney’s Sandwich Bar, 77b Castle Road, Southsea, PO5 3AY
Tel: (023) 9273 3498
Food: Four (out of Five)
Disabled access: Fine, but toilet is upstairs.
How to get there: Castle Road is off Elm Grove. The café is on the left going towards Southsea Terrace. Parking is on-street.