I have written on the subject of sandwiches in the past: More Than Something Between Slices of Bread and Crusty Perfection. In addition, I have posted several recipes for this dietary staple of the Western diet. I have seen these creations at all levels from slapped together “on the go” food to gourmet treats.
One origin story behind this food is that the Earl of Sandwich ordered that he be brought sliced cooked meat between slices of bread so that he wouldn’t have to leave the gaming tables. While it may well be the root of the English name for the stuffed bread snack/meal, I doubt that historically that this was the origin of the food itself.
English sandwiches, in my experience are rather lack-luster, even if they were “invented” here. When I first moved to England, virtually all sandwiches were bread and butter with something else in between. Well, at least they all had butter or margarine on them. Other condiments were possible, but seemingly rare. Subway and the like were yet to make in-roads, and burgers were a confusing buy.
Yes, burgers were generally called beef burgers, after all they contained no ham. A vegetable burger was a beef burger with lettuce on it. Wimpy was around with by American tastes a rather odd flavour, and McDonald’s hadn’t conquered the world as yet.
I find the Dutch terms interesting as well – bread and butter and sandwich are the same word. “Bread and ham” is another linguistic description , as is “invested bread.” In Afrikaans – “closed bread” seems to sum up the dish. I am no expert on the languages, but my rudimentary understanding of them does applaud their accuracy.
Some sandwiches have outstanding bread, others luscious fillings, and yet others lovely sauces. Fellow blogger Fandango has a regular feature where he asks a provocative question. I would like to give you one of my own today. It is a philosopical matter of sandwich theory. Is a good sandwich one in which the internal ingredients are the most important, and the bread merely a delivery system, or is it about the bread, and the filling is only to augment to flavour? Let me know your take on this classic.