This ‘lessons from the past’ series of blog posts has been quite a revelation when it comes to the discoveries and origins of some of our most common food and ingredients. The next post in the series is a story of the humble sandwich – not really of how it originated, but of an interesting story of how it got its name and worldwide recognition.
No spoon or plate – that’s why sandwiches are great!
A sandwich is one of the easiest things to put together in the kitchen. Two slices of bread and any filling in between them – literally any filling! Ever wondered who thought of this brilliant idea? Well, turns out the mighty old sandwich was created as a result of a gambling obsession of an Emperor!
The story dates way back to 1762, London. The fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montague was too involved in his gambling routine to even stop for a meal. He asked the cook to bring him roasted meat between two slices of bread, so he could continue with his game while he ate his meal and that is exactly what happened. The Earl played nonstop for 24 hours and only ate ‘sandwiches’ in between. This trend kind of caught on with people ordering ‘the same as sandwich’.
Apparently the 1st Earl was to undertake the title of “the earl of Portsmouth” but took the title of “the earl of sandwich” instead. Had he not changed his mind, a sandwich could have easily been called a “Portsmouth” instead.
The sandwich has evolved a hundred folds since then. The possibilities of the combinations of the bread and the stuffing in a sandwich are endless. It could be vegetables, cheese, meat, eggs, tomatoes, jam, beans, lentils, dips, sauces stuffed between slices of any kind of bread. Tortillas, quesadillas, burgers and shawarmas are all types of sandwiches. With the varieties of sandwiches we have today did you ever think that it could be the product of an Emperors humble request?
Picking a favourite sandwich out of all the fabulous ones of the world is quite a herculean task for me. Yet I am going to pick a vegetable triple decker sandwich because I can never bring myself to refuse a slice of it. It is made with bread slathered with butter, green chutney, loaded with veggies and a bit of cheese then grilled. Filling, delicious and very simple to build – just like how a sandwich should be– here is the recipe.