Ending the Tyranny: Halting the Dominance of Big Cranberry Sauce in Christmas Sandwiches

"Defying the Red Onslaught: Taking a Stand Against Cranberry Sauce's Christmas Sandwich Takeover"

When Andy Williams crooned about the most wonderful time of the year, he might as well have been singing about the Christmas sandwich season. As winter deepens, and sweaters get thicker, the humble meal deal undergoes a festive transformation. Out go the lackluster ploughman’s and uninspiring falafel wraps, making way for turkey and all the trimmings, pigs in blankets, stuffing, and even some tempting veggie alternatives. If you're aiming to inject a bit of holiday spirit into your desk lunch, there's no simpler way to do it. However, lurking in the chiller cabinet like a ghostly presence among Innocent smoothies and inexplicable single boiled eggs in plastic pots is the Ghost of Christmas (Sandwich) Present — red, wobbly, and indiscriminately smearing itself across every vaguely Christmassy sandwich it encounters. I'm talking about cranberry sauce, the condiment that serves as an obligatory marker of festive offerings, regardless of its actual taste.

No sandwich is safe. Not those from Boots. Not Greggs' pasties. Not even the upscale Pret toasties. Despite my adult efforts to liberate myself from the meal deal's clutches, I'm willing to make an exception for the Christmas offerings. Yet, a survey of supermarkets this year revealed that every option comes drowned in cranberry sauce, from turkey to falafel (yes, even at Christmas, some establishments can't conjure a more imaginative veggie option than falafel).

The situation doesn't improve at fancier establishments either. Take Costa's vegan "turkey and trimmings" sandwich, for instance — on paper, a dream lunch with fake turkey, stuffing, fried onions, mayo, but then, alas, a slick of cranberry sauce. It's criminal. In theory, the foolproof formula of "bread + Christmas dinner + more bread" should be impossible to ruin. Yet, cranberry sauce gives it a valiant effort. A thick, sweet layer of the stuff overpowers the robust flavors that should stand out on their own. Call me old-fashioned, but when savoring a delightful, savory sandwich, relishing the diverse tastes and textures, the last thought that crosses my mind is, "You know what would make this better? Jam."

To be clear, I'm not entirely anti-cranberry. There are places where it's appropriate: paired with vodka or, at a stretch, atop some brie. I'm not even opposed to cranberry sauce when it comes to Christmas dinner, dabbed modestly on the side of my plate for items that complement it. However, when it's smeared across a sandwich, all other flavors stand little chance. The battle against the red invasion on our Christmas sandwiches has begun.

"Beyond the Red Reign: Seeking Moisture Alternatives in the Christmas Sandwich Realm"

It's not hard to understand why cranberry sauce is the go-to choice for sandwich makers during the festive season. Whether it's paired with turkey or a veggie alternative, a holiday sandwich can often err on the side of dryness. Yet, one can't help but wonder if there exists a superior moist-maker. What about gravy? Mayonnaise? Perhaps a concoction of both, a gravy-mayonnaise hybrid? (It might sound heinous, but surprisingly palatable). I'll even throw my support behind butter in this scenario, though I concede it lacks a certain Christmas flair.

The frustration with Big Cranberry's dominance stems from the fact that each passing year brings forth better and more diverse options, especially for non-meat eaters. Yet, the crimson condiment remains seemingly inescapable. As the festive season approaches, my fervent wish to Santa will be a liberation from the clutches of cranberry sauce. In a world where sandwich possibilities are expanding, it's time to explore alternatives beyond the red reign.

As the holiday season approaches and Christmas sandwiches deck the shelves, the enduring reign of cranberry sauce as the quintessential festive condiment prompts reflection. While acknowledging its utility as a moisture-enhancer in the realm of turkey and veggie alternatives, the frustration lingers. The quest for a superior moist-maker raises intriguing possibilities—gravy, mayonnaise, or even a blend of both. In the evolving landscape of Christmas sandwich options, where creativity flourishes and non-meat alternatives abound, the omnipresence of cranberry sauce feels like a culinary constraint.

The anticipation for diverse and innovative holiday offerings intensifies each year, leaving sandwich enthusiasts yearning for a break from the predictability of the red concoction. In the spirit of culinary exploration, this holiday season might just be the time to liberate Christmas sandwiches from the clutches of Big Cranberry's dominance. As we dream of festive feasts with sandwiches that break free from tradition, the quest for the ultimate moist-maker continues, inviting a flavorful and unconventional journey in every bite.