One of the greatest things about food, other than eating, is that one can create their own variant to suit their own tastes or they can simply become creative when all the original ingredients are not readily available. During my 12 years and counting of being an expat, one of the topics that always comes up among other expats is FOOD.
In Bacolod City, my wife and I can buy most anything we need to create a wonderful meal or snack in our own home kitchen. One item that is not so readily available is authentic rye bread. However, we can get creative and find a suitable substitute.
Cafe Bob’s Deli did not have rye bread, so we bought Multi Grain Loaf Bread, which is a good choice for any sandwich. An Italian friend once told me that it is a sin to not have good bread in the house! I don’t know about the sin part but not having good bread in the house will limit one’s preparation of excellent food.
Many Filipinos enjoy and eat a lot of corned beef and there are many Philippine brands of canned corned beef at the supermarkets. However, for my Reuben Sandwich, I always choose the Brazilian corned beef. One of my favorite brands that I buy at SM Supermarket is Hereford Corned Beef, product of Brazil.
Now, actually making your Reuben Sandwich is when the variants arise, according to your own personal taste. Yes, I know, many will be hardcore and say a Reuben Sandwich must have Russian or Thousand Island Dressing. Excuse me, but not my Reuben. I prefer horseradish!
My favorite is Morehouse Cream Style Horseradish. I buy it at either Cafe Bob’s Deli on Lacson Street or farther down on Lacson at Lopues Mandalagan Supermarket.
Some will tell you that an authentic Reuben Sandwich must have Swiss Cheese. However, I have my own preference in cheese. Swiss Cheese is available at both SM and Robinsons Supermarkets.
McLelland Seriously Mild Red Cheddar Cheese is one of my favorite cheeses. I also like Red Leicester. There are five or six different styles of McLelland Cheese available at SM Supermarket.
There is one original ingredient that I never substitute on my Reuben Sandwich and that is sauerkraut. But hey, if you don’t like sauerkraut, leave it off. You will still have a fabulous sandwich.
For the added crunch on my Reuben Sandwich, I always add Sauerkraut. I like Libby’s Crispy Sauerkraut, which I bought at Cafe Bob’s Deli.
To toast or grill or do neither to your prepared Reuben Sandwich is the final touch. By now, you are ready to eat, which is exactly what I did and it is exactly why I don’t have a photo of my Reuben Sandwich. I have eaten it already! My Reuben will look different from yours anyway. You can place your Reuben in a toaster oven until the bread is browned on both sides and the cheese has melted. You can also heat a skillet on high heat, spread butter or margarine on each side of your sandwich and grill until the bread has browned, after flipping it over once, and the cheese has melted.
If you can’t think of what you would like to eat, try a Reuben Sandwich. I don’t think you will be disappointed.