The PB&J Sandwich needs no introduction. Its ingredients and structure are tried and true. Add slices of banana, and the PBB&J Sandwich might merit a fleeting handshake. But the ABB&M Sandwich is all but unknown – a foreign dignitary of sorts, whose presence deserves a formal introduction.
Membrillo is Spanish for quince, a lumpy, yellow-green fruit that resembles a cross between an apple and a pear. The quince, born in the Caucasus, dates back to man’s earliest conquests and temptations. The quince started the Trojan War, after Paris awarded the fruit to Aphrodite for the hand of Helen of Troy. The quince is also said to be the apple that tempted Adam and Eve. Which may have been somewhat disappointing for Eve, since the quince is a hard and bitter fruit. Only a few varieties can be eaten raw.
In its modern form, membrillo usually refers to a jellied paste derived from the fruit – and not the fruit itself. In fact, the word marmalade owe its origins to the Portuguese word for quince: marmelo.
Membrillo has many uses, and is sometimes referred to as the official snack of Spain. In Spain, you might see it paired with crackers and Manchego cheese. You could also see it rolled into balls, dusted with a mixture of cinnamon and confectioners’ sugar, and served alongside coffee or tea. Finally, you could see it as part of an ABB&M Sandwich.
Almond Butter, Banana, and Membrillo Sandwich
Recipe adapted from Ken Oringer, of Toro.
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 7 minutes
YIELD: 2 sandwiches
WHAT TO GRAB:
4 slices of French or Italian bread
1 banana, thinly sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons of almond butter (recipe here)
1 tablespoon butter
1 packet of membrillo (available in International food stores)
1 sandwich press (I use a heavy can, covered in foil)
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Preheat the griddle over low-medium heat.
2. Assemble the sandwich. Spread a thin layer of the almond butter on half of the bread. Top with thinly sliced bananas. Cover the other half of the bread with a thin layer of membrillo, and pair with the ABB half.
3. Grease the griddle with the butter, and cook the sandwich for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, while weighted with a sandwich press. Serve warm with a cold glass of milk!