Everyone adores sandwiches. There’s hardly any food that can’t be turned into a sandwich, even ice cream! In the UK, we’re recognized as a nation of sandwich enthusiasts, even boasting an earl who lent his name to them. Sandwiches are cherished globally, from the cucumber sandwiches served in elegant stately homes to chip butties in my hometown, doubles on Trinidad’s streets, and tacos in Mexico. If it’s enveloped in bread, it’s a sandwich. However, one country’s sandwiches are currently gaining popularity on social media – Italy’s.

Typically, an Italian sandwich consists of a mix of cured meats, cheeses, or both, often accompanied by roasted or pickled vegetables and/or salad. I often find myself lost in an Instagram rabbit hole, captivated by videos of two brothers in an Italian deli crafting enormous sandwiches for their customers. They start by slicing the bread in half and asking the customer if they’d like some of the soft inner parts of the baguette removed to accommodate more filling. They then proceed to add combinations such as generous amounts of mortadella with pistachio pesto, a whole burrata with extra stracciatella, or mozzarella paired with grilled aubergines. The sandwiches are finally halved and presented to the camera before being handed over to the awaiting customer.

The terms ‘panini’ (plural) and ‘panino’ (singular) are Italian words for sandwiches, believed to have originated in Lombardy, Italy several centuries ago. During the 1970s and 80s, sandwich bars known as Paninoteche began to appear throughout Milan, selling sandwiches prepared in a panini grill. These pressed panini gained worldwide popularity.

In the UK, a panini is commonly understood to be a sandwich prepared with either rectangular or cylindrical rolls and toasted in a panini press, which leaves grill marks on the sandwich’s surface. While they often contain cheese, it’s not a requirement, and they can be filled with a variety of ingredients.

A few years ago, paninis were quite popular before falling out of favour. However, with the recent revival of the Italian sandwich, paninis in the UK are regaining popularity. The British Sandwich Association reported a 14% increase in sales in 2022. It’s reasonable to assume that the figures for the following year may be even higher.


We recently introduced our Fairway Assured Grill Marked Panini to meet increasing demand. Its pre-sliced feature simplifies preparation, making it a time-saving option for busy sandwich shops, pubs, hotels, cafes, care homes, educational institutions, garden centres, and leisure attractions.

The addition of grill bar marks on the surface removes the necessity for a specialised panini press, providing a cost-effective and efficient method to achieve the sought-after toasted finish. Just stuff it and bake for a few minutes. Naturally, if you prefer to press it, it performs well in that regard too.

The Fairway Assured Grill Marked Panini can be filled with a variety of Italian meats such as salami, prosciutto, mortadella, coppa, capicola, pancetta, porchetta, bresaola, and nduja. It can also include a range of cheeses like mozzarella, dolcelatte, burrata, and provolone. However, these paninis are not restricted to Italian fillings. Consider a classic Reuben sandwich made with corned beef or pastrami, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and Russian dressing, similar to our Marie Rose/prawn cocktail sauce. A Cuban sandwich is another great option, featuring mojo pork, ham, swiss cheese, yellow mustard, and pickled gherkins.

One advantage of offering panini is the perceived value they bring, which allows for a higher price point compared to regular toasties. This could be due to their sophisticated name or the inclusion of premium ingredients like Italian meats and cheeses. Regardless, adding them to your menu can be beneficial.

As the popularity of panini continues to grow, we can undoubtedly expect more innovation and creativity in the realm of sandwich making. Whether served in a baguette style or pressed in a machine, The Fairway Assured Grill Marked Panini stands as a quality product. Why not join the enduring Italian sandwich trend, or explore what other combinations you can create?


Total: £0.00