Fast Food Catering

Deconstructing the Reuben Sandwich

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The origins of the Reuben sandwich are still being debated but there’s no debate that it’s an American invention, usually associated with New York City. The basic elements of the American hot sandwich are simple and available – corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing, which are then placed inside two slices of rye bread.

But there stops the similarities. Every restaurant offering a Reuben sandwich will have its own version including the quality and quantity of each basic ingredient. Even fast-food chains offering the iconic hot sandwich will have their own combos, such as the Reuben sandwich combined with French fries and drink.

What exactly makes for a delicious Reuben sandwich? Let’s deconstruct its elements and know.  

The Meat

The corned beef used in the best Reuben sandwiches isn’t the canned corned beef we usually think of when the name comes up. Instead, the “corned” part refers to the preparation of the meat with large grains of salt, known as corns, which results in the tastiest meat with a delightfully moist texture. In many restaurants, the corned beef can also be substituted with pastrami, a type of meat with several similarities to corned beef except that spices, not salt, are mainly used in its flavoring.  

The Sauerkraut

The idea of shredded and pickled cabbage may not sound appealing but it’s one of the foods that actually work! The underlying slight bitterness of sauerkraut complements the flavors of the meat, cheese, and dressing so well that a Rueben isn’t a Reuben without it.  

The Swiss Cheese

Many people will want to substitute other types of cheese, such as parmesan and mozzarella, but purists and foodies assert that it’s a near-blasphemous substitution. Swiss cheese is the best type of cheese because it doesn’t have a strong flavor so it doesn’t clash with the other ingredients. Plus, it melts well when placed over the hot meat and, once melted, it has the right amount of creaminess.

The Russian Dressing

The mix of mayonnaise and tomato isn’t an odd thing. But for a Reuben sandwich, the slight sweetness of the Russian dressing, which usually has herbs, spices, and finely-chopped onions, contrasts nicely with the salty corned beef, the mellow cheese, and the bitter sauerkraut.

Of course, only rye bread will work with a Reuben sandwich. You can try other types of bread but it will not be the same, even when the rest of the ingredients are present.

When you’re browsing through the American Deli catering prices in preparation for your party, you should check the price for the Reuben sandwich first. You just can’t have an American Deli-catered event without it!  

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