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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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HannahG
HannahG posted in Food:
"Kirsteeeeen" wrote:Tired of being told pizza is unhealthy?Try pizza on flatbread, pita bread, or even rice cakes.Best of both worlds.  :angelRICE CAKES?! Why haven't I ever thought of that?
reply 8 minutes
Abbygirl 9
Abbygirl 9 posted in General:
"Kirsteeeeen" wrote:"alienincognito" wrote:Don't talk to anyone unless you're spoken to, try to stay out of the limelight, the teachers are the enemy but can have nice moments. No matter how fancy a school is, there will be behaviour problems. Homework can be left to the last minute depending on how tactile you are, after the first few months you'll want to disappear unless you become popular but hang in there! Also, there are three types of people at Middle School or Secondary School:The cacti-The cacti are people who seem hard on the outside [we all have to be in Middle School] but are really lovely and soft if you get to know them. Some cacti can be pricks [no pun intended] but most are nice enough people so a cacti is probably an ideal friend at Middle School.The rocks-AVOID AT ALL COSTS! These are the people who are completely tough and are often bullies. It often seems like they have no emotions because they don't. They are sociopaths and must be avoided. But they are often popular jock kids.The marshmallows-These guys are pretty good, they're soft all the way through and get along well with most people and mostly abide by the rules. They can be hurt easily and roasted because they're so soft. Marshmallows are often smart and get along well with teachers as a result. The only flaw with marshmallows is that some have the tendency to rub their good grades in your face and make you feel insecure but they're nice people mostly.Oh and we can also get cacti rocks and spiky marshmallows.Hope I helped  Teachers are never the enemy!! They're there to help you. They can be a very valuable resource and it is so very important to collaborate with them to make the most of your learning experience!  If you put off a cold attitude and don't speak to people, they're more than likely going to assume you're stuck up and that can make the experience a lot worse than it has to be. Smile, be kind, and if there's someone picking on you, tell a teacher or other staff member, and try to stay out of their path. (I know from experience being an "outsider", it's better not to make yourself a quiet target). im nervous about starting high school.  middle school was alot of fun but you do get alot of classwork and homework. i couldnt have said it any better like you did kirsteeeen.   [s:p/zxl]
reply 9 minutes
Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in New Users:
Welcome to KW! :D
reply 11 minutes
Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in Food:
Tired of being told pizza is unhealthy? Try pizza on flatbread, pita bread, or even rice cakes. Best of both worlds.  :angel
reply 12 minutes
Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in Debating:
Doctors might be the more ethical choice, but honestly I think a lot of celebrities do deserve high salaries considering the scrutiny, lack of privacy, and judgement they go through. They're human too, and their lives are turned upside down once they become part of the spotlight.  Both are respectable careers, in their own ways, and I think that certain positions in the medical profession should get a raise.
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