There are 5 essential ingredients for the best Reuben sandwich. They are corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing, sandwiched in between rye bread. Without these essential ingredients, you are not truly enjoying the best Reuben.
The birth of the Reuben sandwich
There are several versions of the origins of the Reuben sandwich. One asserts that Jewish deli owner, Arnold Reuben, in 1908 in New York first made the Reuben. Another is that Reuben Kulakofsky, a Jewish grocer in Omaha, Nebraska, asked for a sandwich made of corned beef and sauerkraut at his weekly poker game held in the Blackstone Hotel around 1920.
For decades the Reuben sandwich has remained a delicatessen favourite. Patrons name Four Leaves Food Store Reuben Sandwich as the best ever.
What are the ingredients for the best Reuben sandwich?
Despite its Jewish origins, the Reuben is not kosher as it combines meat and cheese. Firstly the corned beef, as we prepare it at Four Leaves, must be slow-cured, which gives it a juicy tenderness. Secondly, the sauerkraut is stuffed between layers of the corned beef. The Russian dressing is then applied, while the Swiss cheese is grilled to perfection on the toasty rye bread. The rye slices are then sandwiched together, toasted and buttered.
A final flourish is the addition of a pickle which is often spiked on top of the Reuben to stabilise the towering creation of juicy goodness.
People get burned out in big families, you can even see it in the naming of children. Like the first kid, “You were named after Grandma.” The seventh kid, “You were named after a sandwich I had. Now get your brother, Reuben.”
— Jim Gaffigan
From its humble beginnings in the multicultural melting pot of America, the best Reuben sandwiches are enjoyed the world over.
Like any traditional favourite, the Reuben has fended off stiff competition from other sandwiches. From Po’ boys of the deep south to more recent commercially available subs, the Reuben has come out swinging.
Like most simple fare, the preparation of the essential ingredients is the secret to making the best Reuben. If the beef is not corned to perfection and the cabbage is not sauered properly, the best Reuben will not be achieved.
Last word on the best Reuben sandwich
Whether you are travelling locally or abroad, the Reuben sandwich should be on your shortlist of ‘must eats’. Many patrons who praise our Reuben sandwich have made it (seemingly) their life’s mission to unearth the holy grail of the best Reuben. Our head chef, Rodney, is delighted to offer the best (and truest!) Reuben sandwich. And he can easily become engrossed in animated conversation with customers about how he has achieved the ‘just right recipe with the essential ingredients to make a Reuben sandwich.
The last word on the best Reuben, as with all food, lies with the customer. Our advice? When you partake of a Reuben, insist on the 5 essential ingredients, and enjoy this dining experience which is steeped in delicatessen history.