If it’s lunch time, most of us are probably having a sandwich. It’s filling, tasty, and portable! It is really a full meal – in most cases, bread, meat, cheese, and vegetables! Supposedly, the sandwich was created by the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, who spent a great deal of time in gambling halls in the UK and did not have time to sit and have a full meal. He thought to himself, if he put the meat he was having between two pieces of bread he could take his meal with him and eat as he played. This was in 1762. While it might be true, and probably is, I find it a little hard to believe that people before Montagu hadn’t thought up the idea. But none-the-less, today we celebrate his invention the sandwich in the best way we know how… eating a sandwich.
How to celebrate – Have a sandwich. Invent some type of new sandwich. Try adding new and different things to your sandwich.
Even though sliced bread wasn’t available until the 1920’s the history of Grilled Cheese sandwiches goes all the way back to the Roman Empire. The Roman’s probably used Pita, which is close to bread. Or maybe not. It doesn’t really matter because practically anything is better with cheese on it!
The most popular apparently is the “American Cheese”, cheese sandwich. But you can be creative and use Cheddar, Swiss, Provolone, Gouda or even Brie (though it can be messy). Paired with soup it is a comfort meal ready in just minutes!
Or you can be a little more creative by adding lettuce and tomato, salsa, avocado, pickles, or just about anything you can think of. You can even mix cheeses, if you are daring enough.
Apparently in San Francisco they like their cheese sandwich made with macaroni and cheese. Seems like a lot of work to me but if that’s what floats your tractor… (which brings to mind… why would anyone want to float their tractor? If the field you are planting is underwater I seriously doubt anything is going to grow.)
Add a little meat and now you’re talking! The best thing since…. well… sliced bread! Turkey, chicken, ham, it doesn’t matter it’s all good! Of course you can skip this step if you are a vegetarian.
How to celebrate – Have a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch today. Make up your own special grilled cheese sandwich. Have a grilled cheese sandwich party using every known combination you have ever heard of!
Could America exist without the sandwich!?! I don’t think so. It is probably the most popular food in all of America, maybe even the world. We now have breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, and dinner sandwiches. There are super sandwiches for football game parties and tiny sandwiches for those on a diet. We even have ice cream sandwiches and aren’t most cookies actually sandwiches?
Well, we owe it all to John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich, and his passion for gambling. In the 18th century, meat was served very greasy and Montagu did not wish to soil his fine clothing. So he ordered the meat served between two pieces of bread to soak up the grease and keep his fingers clean for card playing. Soon everybody was doing it, well not the gambling part, the ordering sandwiches. Oddly, he never really was the Earl of Sandwich though. The towns original name was Sondwic which got changed to Sandwic and finally Sandwice in 1086. But no one wants to eat a sandwice, which means “Market Town on Sandy Soil”.
The nice thing about a sandwich is that you can put anything you want on it and you can restrict it to only things you like! What is more perfect!?! The perfect meal served with only the foods you like and all made portable because of the bread!
So this is John Montagu’s birthday, November 3rd and hence, National Sandwich Day. Subway will give you a free sandwich if you show up and ask for it. There are some limitations but for the most part, you can have it your way (something you really can’t get at Burger King).
And Arby’s also has a free sandwich they will give you but you have to register for it, I believe on their website.
How to celebrate – Either go out and buy a sandwich or make one of your own at home. Try to create your own sandwich and see if you can get it named for yourself! Share a sandwich with someone, educating them first about the history of National Sandwich Day.