Deliveroo has recreated Ross’ famous ‘moist maker’ sandwich - we tried it

Monica’s creation is one of television’s most famous foods, so we knew we had to try it. Will the moist maker be enough to lure us back to the dreaded commute?

There is a type of white-collar crime that doesn’t get spoken enough about. No, it’s not the tax dodgers or stationery pinchers. We’re talking about office lunch burglars.

As many of us make our way back to our hot desks and cubicles (if you’re lucky), so does that often-mysterious person who sneaks their way to the communal fridge to nab someone else’s pre-prepared lunch, ruining their victim’s afternoon with nary a second thought about their dastardliness.

They may not come in the night, but they creep under the fluorescent lighting and steal away across the carpeted floors like silent shadows.

One person who knew all about the sandwich thief was Ross Geller from Friends. In episode nine of series five of the beloved US sitcom, Ross flies into a not-unreasonable rage after discovering someone at his workplace had eaten his Thanksgiving leftover sandwich.

“That sandwich was the only good thing going on in my life,” he exclaims. “Someone ate the only good thing going on in my life!”

The sandwich in question, assembled by Monica, has become one of television’s most famous foods. So when Deliveroo said they had recreated the stolen sandwich in conjunction with the reopening of offices, we knew we had to try it.

Granted, it is strange to have a Christmas/Thanksgiving sandwich in the middle of summer, but hey, if Pret can do it, so can we. Here are our verdicts:

The one where Kate eats the meat sandwich

My first impression of “My Sandwich” was “My, that’s a big sandwich”. As per Monica’s recipe, the sandwich contains an additional slice of bread soaked in gravy and placed in the middle of the fillings. Ross calls it the “Moist Maker”, because the gravy keeps the sandwich juicy.

Deliveroo’s recreation of the sandwich contains multiple layers of roasted turkey, homemade garlic and herb mayonnaise, sweet potato, cranberry sauce, crispy onions “for added crunch”, sage and onion stuffing, salad leaves and the Moist Maker, making it an impressively tall sandwich.

With my stomach growling, I open up the packaging – which has a printed Post-it note that quotes Geller’s rantings of “MY SANDWICH!!” – and laid both halves of the sandwich on a plate.

Kate Ng tries Deliveroo’s ‘My Sandwich’ sandwich

The first thing to note is that the cranberry sauce has soaked through one side of the sandwich, which made it feel soggy to the touch. I frown because I really don’t like a soggy sandwich, but I want to give it a chance anyway.

Unfortunately, the sogginess doesn’t abate the further you get into the sandwich. It’s full of soft textures, from the sweet potato to the stuffing to the turkey to the Moist Maker. In fact, there’s too much moisture and any crunch that the salad leaves and crispy onions might have added has softened too much.

The sweet potato and cranberry sauce also makes the sandwich strangely sweet. Cranberry sauce usually needs a bit of acidity as the tartness balances out the other rich, creamy flavours involved in a Thanksgiving meal. However, that much-needed tartness is missing here, replaced instead by cloying sweetness. The sweet potato rather overpowers the other flavours, and the overall sandwich could have used much more seasoning as well.

It’s not a terrible sandwich, as far as sandwiches go. And considering Deliveroo is offering it to office workers for just £1 for one day only (Tuesday 10 August), it makes for a very filling meal on a shoestring budget.

However, I am disappointed to say the famous sandwich failed to impress. With some adjustments, it could’ve been a truly great sandwich.

The one where Harriet eats the vegan sandwich

As a cheugy millennial who quotes Friends in every other sentence, I’ve waited decades for the opportunity to get my teeth into a sandwich so delicious it warranted an entire episode dedicated to it. As a vegetarian, I assumed my day would never come - this is, after all, a turkey sandwich.

Thankfully, in 2021, you can pretty much guarantee that when a new food launch is announced, its meat-free counterpart will follow closely behind. Lo and behold, Deliveroo has also released a vegan version of Monica’s creation. Ross’ sandwich included most of the classic Thanksgiving dinner foods rolled between two slices of bread: turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and, of course, the slice of gravy-soaked bread in the middle, the Moist Maker. Deliveroo’s vegan version is made from a meat alternative, a vegan mayo and a plant-based gravy-drenched middle layer.

Donning my best palaeontologist mindset, I settle down to an immaculately clean table a la Monica, at which to taste the dish, making sure to shout “I KNOW” to myself in the living room apropos of nothing.

I’m relieved to discover the sandwich isn’t as enormous as Ross makes it sound in Friends. American portions can be a lot to handle, even for a greedy Brit like myself, and, having already eaten my lunch earlier in the day, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about downing an entire Christmas dinner. It’s much lighter than I was expecting, too. There isn’t an overwhelm of ingredients and the sliced white bread keeps it airy and avoids any potential stodginess.

As with all taste tests, several bites are essential, and I find I’ve quickly eaten a quarter of the thing as I scroll through Netflix trying to find the relevant episode and feel like I am one of the gang. Before I know it, I’m half a sandwich deep having forgotten I’m supposed to be analysing the ingredients. Given I wasn’t hungry before, is this an admission of deliciousness?

Sadly, it’s just the aforementioned greed. With last Christmas having been cancelled (no, we’ve not forgotten, Boris), it’s been a good two years since I got my gnashers into a Christmas sandwich - office lunches, what are those? - and I’m momentarily swept up in the thrill of stuffing and cranberries.

Perhaps it’s because something as hyped up as Ross’ sandwich can never truly live up to expectations, or perhaps it’s just (whisper it) not a very nice sandwich? But the ‘moist maker’ is more like soggy slop than mouth-watering culinary innovation and though the plant-based turkey is a treat (it is tiresome when most veggie Christmas sandwiches are sweet-potato or cranberry based), I’m unable to move past the disappointment.

Hey, at least if it got nicked from the office fridge I wouldn’t have much to shout about.

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