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THE ORIGINS OF THE SANDWICH

 

Sandwich in all its forms (4x4, sub, buns, wraps, panini just to name a few) has become ubiquitous in North America. Practically everyone in a fast moving economy indulges in a sandwich at least once a week, some practically daily. Danish on the other hand like open-faced sandwiches, which must be plated and consumed by means of a knife and fork. Germans call this belegtes brot.

     The forerunner of the sandwich was invented by Earl of Montague (1718 – 1792), the fourth Earl of Sandwich was Lord of Admiralty twice from 1748 – 1751 and 1771 – 1782.

     The Earl was a notorious gambler, running from one pub to another looking for gamblers. These extensive excursions in search of gambling companion left little time for the Early to eating properly as it befits a Lord of Admiralty. Instead, he instructed his servants to serve him a slice of roasted meat between two slices of bread; this became famous in 1762 as a novel fashion to eat “on-the-run”.  Elisabeth Leslie first mentioned the term sandwich in North America in her cookbook published in 1827.

     Ever since Americans of all walks developed an insatiable appetite for sandwiches of all kinds. Today an advanced fashion of sandwich is being touted it being a filling wrapped with Middle Eastern flatbread or pita.  Whether this can be called a sandwich at all is questionable, but then again the idea of eating a slice of roasted meat between two slices of bread instead of a meal is questionable itself from a gastronomic perspective.


Article contributed by Hrayr Berberoglu, a Professor Emeritus of Hospitality and Tourism Management specializing in Food and Beverage. Books by H. Berberoglu

 

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