The Unexpected Ingredient In Marcus Samuelsson's Breakfast Sandwich

If there's one thing we've come to know about chef Marcus Samuelsson, it's that he's going to experiment in the kitchen. The Ethiopian-born and Swedish-raised chef, who is "always chasing flavors" (per Twitter), says he "will always get excited by tasting something new or taking something good and tweak it until it becomes something great," as he tells it in his memoir, "Yes, Chef."

Although the chef gives a nod to his Scandinavian roots by fusing them with tastes of Manhattan at his restaurant Kitchen & Table, the winner of Season 2 of "Top Chef Masters" leans into his experience as a US immigrant to inform his cooking. In a video on his YouTube channel, Samuelsson says, "Being an immigrant in America is as American as you can get," crediting the country for being "diverse, strong, and constantly evolving." Much like Samuelsson's recipes. One look at the cookbook author and restaurateur's website and you'll find that Samuelsson brings diversity to the breakfast genre. The site features classic recipes like French Toast but with added twists like spiced mascarpone seasoned flavored with Mexican cinnamon sticks. His recipe for Black Panther Breakfast is a melting pot of flavors. The dish features sunny-side-up eggs served over gnocchi and hominy with mince habanero peppers and pork belly.

Samuelsson has taken on another morning favorite, the breakfast sandwich, and infused it with something unexpected.

It's not ketchup

Considered to have a permanent spot in "modern American culture by" the HuffPost, the breakfast sandwich has a few key components: bread, egg, some kind of breakfast meat like bacon or sausage, and cheese.

The James Beard award-winning chef builds his breakfast sandwich with Brown Butter Biscuits as the bread of choice. (Some may recognize those biscuits as a brunch item at one of Samuelsson's restaurants, Red Rooster Overtown). In a video posted on Twitter, the breakfast sandwich, filled with ham and scrambled eggs, is finished off with a surprising twist: tomato jam.

Samuelsson's version of the jam introduces a tangy sweetness along with a paste-like texture as described in Food & Wine. But don't call it ketchup. Although both are tomato-based condiments, ketchup is blended or pureed to achieve a smooth consistency (via National Geographic). Meanwhile, Men's Journal notes that tomato jam has a texture closer to that of chutney, as it contains diced tomatoes that don't need to be strained. The texture is another way to add "flavor" to food. According to CEENTA, texture has an impact on the way food tastes as well as our enjoyment of it. That is good news for and likely not lost on chef Samuelsson, who based on his Twitter profile, is probably still chasing flavors.