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History of the Sandwich

Whether it’s a pb&j at a picnic or a foot long sub for supper, sandwiches are a simple, savoury (and portable) option for any meal of the day. But do you know how they were invented? Delve between the bread slices to find out the story of this delicious dish!

The Sandwiches That Started It All

The first recorded mention of a sandwich-like meal dates all the way back to the 1st Century B.C. Ancient Jewish Rabbi Hillel the Elder is reported to have started the Passover tradition of putting lamb, mixed nuts and herbs between two pieces of matzo (unleavened bread).

In the Middle Ages people would use thick slices of stale bread, called “trenchers”, as plates for meats and vegetables, creating an open-faced sandwich, but the bread was sometimes too stale to eat and was often fed to dogs and farm animals.

In the 17th Century taverns in the Netherlands started to serve something that looks a lot more like the sandwiches we eat today. They would hang cured beef from the ceilings of the taverns that would be sliced and paired with bread and butter for customers.

The Earl of Sandwich

Slowly the sandwich started appearing not just in Dutch taverns, but also among aristocrats as a late-night meal. The sandwich got its name from 18th Century English nobleman John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who regularly ordered meat between two pieces of bread. The story goes that he liked this meal so much because he could eat his meat and continue to play cards without getting his hands messy with grease. Soon people started ordering “the same as Sandwich”, and the name has stuck ever since! Even though he is not the inventor of sandwiches, Sandwich is the name that has gone down in history.

By the 19th Century the sandwich had become popular all over Europe, especially in England because of the industrial revolution. People needed easy-to-make, easy-to-carry lunches that would fill them up for a long day of work at the office or doing hard labor. Every class of person enjoyed sandwiches, and there are now sandwiches of all different kinds and flavors and for every situation—from the bite sized cucumber sandwiches you might eat at tea with the queen to a good ol’ tuna sandwich you might find in your lunch bag.

Check out the “Sandwich Board”

Are you a “sandwich star”? Check out these sandwiches, and see how many you’ve tried!

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly: The name says it all!
  • Monte Cristo: Fried ham and cheese sandwich.
  • Reuben: Meat, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, this sandwich is served hot, usually with corned beef or pastrami.
  • BLT: Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato
  • Tuna Melt: A tuna sandwich with melted cheese on top.
  • Panini: An Italian style sandwich, often grilled on Italian “ciabatta” bread.
  • Club Sandwich: A triple-decker toasted bread, turkey, lettuce and tomato.
  • Sloppy Joe: An American summer camp favorite, ketchup and ground beef on a hamburger bun.
  • Cucumber Sandwich: What you might have at “High Tea”, finger sandwiches with cream cheese and, of course, cucumber!
  • Grilled Cheese: Cheese grilled between two toasty slices of bread, great for breakfast or lunch!
  • Po’ Boy: A Louisiana tradition that features New Orleans baguette-style bread and fried meat or seafood.

Did You Know...?

A court in Boston, Massachusetts ruled that a sandwich has to have at least two slices of bread (no burritos or open-faced sammies)!

Have Your Say

What’s your fave kind of sandwich? Let us know in the comments section below!

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malia101
malia101 posted in Say Anything:
Come back Gwen!  [s:sm3/1jw0]
reply 12 minutes
WolfxGuardian
WolfxGuardian posted in Debating:
Today was interesting. I was helping my aunt move from the grandmother's old house. We were just finishing up and about to leave when suddenly, behind my mother's car, a sedan pulls up on the street that was intersecting the small, dead end road my mother's car was pulled into. Just so you know, this is an apartment complex so the roads are especially narrow. The man driving the car hopes out, red in the face before going back in like he was grabbing something. We saw hands form the back seat, almost like he was fighting with somebody before he closed his door and headed away from the car. We couldn't see him. Then, the person in the back seat, a woman, came over to my mother's car. She looked in distress and out of it, asking for a ride and help. She nearly got into my mother's car but my aunt quickly stopped that. She was asking for help still, going to say that she was scared. My aunt told her to go deeper into the complex but she shook her head before heading back to the man's car. My brother, 23, was nearly yelling to my mom to leave. Now. This was quite a situation and very testing for us. My brother, mother, and myself go into a heated debate on the way back to my aunt's old house. My mother and aunt said that they wanted to help the woman. Do something. Get her in the car and away from that man and even further. Possibly call the police if that was all they could do. My brother and uncle, who was actually in a parking spot right next to the man's car, said they wouldn't help her, no matter the circumstances. They would much rather not get into that situation, not knowing what he was capable of. Not only that, it wasn't their business. They weren't going to put themselves in a situation where they could possibly get hurt or worse. So, after all this, the question is raised for you, people of KW. If you saw a woman in distress asking for your help and you had now clue when that man was going to get back, what would you do?
reply 12 minutes
Jeterfan14
get gwen back :p [s:p/1f9z]Gwennn
reply 22 minutes
SuperSceneKitty456
Okay seriously she left I didn't even know I hope she does come back And I hope she's okay I miss you Gwen 
reply about 1 hour
catsrcute9
Come back gwen
reply about 1 hour

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