The easiest cheese sandwich for the long distance walker

Published 17 June 2015

M&S sandwich

I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly rate sandwiches sold in those plastic triangle packs solds in supermarkets and stores. Part of the problem is that the sandwiches are kept in the fridge. If there’s one thing you shouldn’t do with bread, it’s put it in the fridge as it goes stale quicker. But also wetter sandwich ingredients like tomatoes help make the sandwich go all horrible and soggy.

However often there’s not always much of an alternative. You’re more likely to find a convenience store or supermarket in a village than a decent sandwich shop. But never fear. There is often an option you can take. You can make your own sandwich.

Now if you’re doing a day hike that’s an obvious statement to make, but if you’re doing a multi-day hike you’ll probably think I’d mad. Make your own sandwich at lunch? Who wants to do the Coast to Coast in the summer with a chopping board, a pack of Hovis and a tub of butter in their rucksack? It’s nonsense, surely?!

Well actually there’s a very simple way to make a sandwich on the go with minimal fuss and without carrying loads of stuff. All you need are bread rolls and cheese.

You can get bread rolls almost anywhere – many supermarkets and some small shops sell crusty rolls loose, and this is always my preference, but if you need to, you can get a pack of soft rolls. A pack of four will lunch for two, or if you’re by yourself you can save some for the next day as they’ll keep well enough.

The filling comes in the form of a packet of sliced cheese. You’ll find this all over the place and whilst it is expensive compared to a block, it’s far less fuss when you’re on the go.

You’ll notice there’s no margarine or butter involved, and this means your choice in cheese is extremely important. You need a kind of soft, creamy cheese like Gouda, Edam or Leerdammer. Funnily enough, most shops which sell sliced cheese, sell one or more of these. They squish in to the bread wonderfully so you don’t miss the butter at all. Smoked cheese should also work well. Don’t try sliced Cheddar. It’s simply too dry to work without butter.

To put it all together, rip the roll in half and put one or two slices of cheese in it. Munch and enjoy. No fuss, limited waste and usually far more enjoyable than a pre-packed sandwich. Bread and cheese is a simple and tasty combination after all.

Don’t like cheese? Well salami works well too. The fattiness of the meat means you really don’t miss the butter there either. And if you’re really desperate and you have a knife, you can always try spreadable cheese. This was something I had to resort to on the Southern Upland Way where the tiny shop in one village had run out of cheese besides some a tub of spreadable “Seriously Strong” cheddar-flavoured stuff. It did the job. Just about.

Whilst perhaps not the world’s most gourmet lunch, there is something about sitting on a hill, ripping your bread roll in half. You could even make it in to an open sandwich after all. So next time you’re in the supermarket looking for something to take with you, put that sandwich with its limp lettuce down and head to the diary aisle. A tastier lunch may just be there for you.


Chris Hunt

18 June 2015 at 4:46 pm

My girlfriend and I have abandoned sandwiches altogether. Our packups now consist mainly of three things:

Cheese cut into bite-size chunks
Cherry tomatoes

(supplement with chunks of carrot, trail mix, cereal bars etc. if/as desired)

The cheese and tomatoes aren’t difficult to get hold of, and last reasonably well in UK weather. Oatcakes are lightweight, compact and long-lasting – a big improvement on bread in all departments. Quick and easy to prepare with minimal kit.

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