Recently, we put the beloved Fall River-style chow mein sandwich head-to-head against the Salem-style chop suey sandwich, and it’s no surprise the SouthCoast staple was the winner.

However, when discussing the Battle of the Bunned on the air, a strange-sounding suggestion began trickling in from the callers.

“Well, have you tried the chow mein sandwich with vinegar?” a caller asked.

This suggestion had me intrigued.

“You mean malt vinegar, I assume?” I responded. After all, malt vinegar makes things like french fries taste even better, combining the sour with the savory, so that seemed like a natural if not overpowering fit.

“No, regular plain white vinegar,” she replied.

I dismissed it as just one person’s odd taste buds, but then other callers brought it up as well. I was getting app chat messages on our station app that also suggested trying the chow mein sandwich with some white vinegar sprinkled all over the noodles.

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Well, today I put their suggestion to the test, and I was pleasantly surprised with how well the flavors combined.

I ordered a chow mein sandwich for lunch from Fairhaven’s Wah May, and sat down at my desk with the sandwich and a bottle of white vinegar. I spooned a little vinegar onto the noodles, unsure of just how much to use for fear that it might ruin the taste of the sandwich.

Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

After a few bites, however, I found that I was generously slathering the vinegar all over the dish.

There may not have been the best-smelling scent wafting from my office this afternoon, but it sure was delicious.

I can’t say I’ll always slather my chow mein sandwich in white vinegar, but I’m definitely keeping the bottle in the cabinet of the station kitchen for the next time I want to add a little zing to my lunch.

If you’ve never tried it yourself, don’t be as skeptical as I was. Give it a shot, you certainly won’t be soured by the experience.

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