A sandwich for Sandwich

Why is a sandwich called a ‘sandwich’?

The sandwich was allegedly born 250 years ago in the South East of England. Legend has it that a man named John Montagu, who was the Fourth Earl of a town called Sandwich, first conceived of this modern-day convenience food.

Apparently the Earl was a bit of a rebel who would spend hours gambling – one story describes a 24 hour stint at the gambling table. As he could not always be torn away from table for meals, he would ask his valet (he was an Earl, after all) to bring him some meat between two pieces of bread to keep him going.

His friends, inspired by the Earl’s behavior, would ask to “have the same as Sandwich” and, lo and behold, the sandwich was born.

Despite the admiration from his friends, the Earl’s eating habits were far from the norm, with foodsmith Sam Bompas describing how meals at the time involved elaborate rituals. “What you have with the sandwich is the shock of informality. He was a daring man to eat in such a way coming from his social background.”

More lore:

  • The world’s largest sandwich currently weighs 5,440 pounds. In 2008, an attempt in Iran to beat the record for the world’s biggest sandwich failed when the impatient crowd ate it before it was measured.
  • There are more Subways in the world than any other restaurant chain.
  • The average American will have eaten 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the time they leave school.

Do you know of any other sandwich foodlore? Please share in the comments below.

And don’t forget to…

sanwich meme

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