Annually in the USA it is celebrated National Sandwich Day, with the aim of honoring one of the most popular foods on the American continent. I must say that today this holiday is popular not only in America, but also in many Western countries, and this is not surprising.
After all, this is, in fact, a sandwich – two slices of bread or rolls, between which any filling is placed (it can be meat, fish, sausage, cheese, jam, peanut butter, herbs or any other ingredients). By the way, an ordinary sandwich can be called an “open” sandwich.
Sandwiches as a dish (without a name) have their history since time immemorial. It is known that as early as the 1st century, the Jew Hillel the Babylonian (who is considered the teacher of Christ) introduced the Easter tradition of wrapping a mixture of crushed apples and nuts mixed with spices in a piece of matzo. This food represented the suffering of the Jewish people. And in the Middle Ages, there was a tradition to serve stew on large pieces of stale bread, which were soaked in juice during the process of eating, which was very satisfying and saved on meat. There are other examples in the literature, but this dish got its name “sandwich”, as the legend says, in the 18th century.
It received such a resounding name in honor (1718-1792), 4th Earl of Sandwich, English diplomat and statesman, First Lord of the Admiralty. By the way, the South Sandwich Islands discovered by James Cook during his third voyage around the world are named after him.
According to the most common version, the “sandwich” was “invented” by Montague for a quick snack during a card game. Yes, alas, everything is so commonplace. The count was an avid gambler and could spend almost a day at the gambling table. And naturally, when he was hungry, they brought him food. It was in the course of such a long game that the losing opponent accused the count of being hot-headed that he “sprinkled” the cards with his dirty fingers. And so that this would not happen again, the count ordered his servant to serve a piece of roast beef, placed between two slices of bread. This allowed him to continue the game without interruption for a snack, but also without smudging the cards.
Everyone who was then a witness of such a decision liked it very much, and soon such an original sandwich “like a Sandwich”, or “a sandwich”, became all popular with local inveterate gamblers. This is how the name “new dish” was born, which changed the culinary world. After all, it is believed that this is how fast food appeared.
Very quickly, a dish called “sandwich” spread throughout the taverns of England and further to its colonies, and in 1840 a cookbook was published in America, written by the Englishwoman Elizabeth Leslie, in which she described the first recipe for a ham and mustard sandwich. By the beginning of the 20th century, the sandwich had already conquered all of America as a convenient and cheap food, especially after bakeries began to offer pre-sliced bread for sale, which greatly simplified the construction of sandwiches. Today, sandwiches are known all over the world, and the Americans even established a separate national holiday in honor of it, since they were and still are the biggest fans of this dish. Almost no lunch is complete without sandwiches.
In America, there is a huge variety of sandwiches and just as many different cafes and restaurants where you can eat them. The most famous sandwich – with peanut butter and jam, and also – BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato), Montecristo (with turkey and Swiss cheese, deep-fried, served with powdered sugar), Dagwood (high-rise structure of numerous pieces of bread, meat, cheese and salad), Mufuletta (a set of smoked meats on a white bun with finely chopped olives), Ruben (with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and pastrami) and many others.
According to statistics, Americans eat about 200 sandwiches per person per year. The world’s largest sandwich manufacturers are McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King restaurants. 75% of eateries, fast food outlets, supermarkets and street stalls say sandwich is the most purchased product during lunchtime. This dish ranks second among the products (after fruits) that are eaten for lunch. In this country, almost everyone loves him, regardless of age and social status.
By the way, hamburgers and are derivatives of the same sandwich. But according to the American Restaurant Association, the most popular sandwich in America is the hamburger – it is on the menu of almost every restaurant in the country, and 15% of Americans eat a hamburger for lunch.
Generally, in the world there are sweet and salty, spicy and low-calorie sandwiches. Only in America, different states have their own special sandwich recipes. So, in Alabama, chicken meat with a special white barbecue sauce is placed between pieces of bread, in Alaska – salmon, in California – avocado, tomatoes, chicken and lettuce, in Hawaii – chicken and pineapples, in Boston – fried clams, in Milwaukee – sausages and sauerkraut, in New York – smoked beef or corned beef, in Chicago – Italian beef, in Philadelphia – meat steak is covered with melted cheddar, and in Miami they gorge themselves on Cuban sandwiches with fried pork, slices of ham, Swiss cheese and pickles.
In Illinois, they make a special open sandwich made from toasted bread, any kind of meat, special cheese sauce and fries. Massachusetts has a popular sweet sandwich: nut butter and melted marshmallows are enclosed between two slices of toasted white bread, while in Mississippi, mustard, onions, two fried pork ears are placed on top of a toasted round bun, and hot sauce is poured on top. The state of Montana is known for its blueberry cottage cheese sandwich, and West Virginia is particularly fond of sandwiches with peanut butter and local apples.
And yet, for example, one of London’s supermarkets recently offered its customers an unprecedentedly expensive sandwich for £ 85. The filling consisted of tender slices of Wagyu marbled beef, pieces of foie gras, elite cheese de meaux, truffle oil mayonnaise, with cherry tomato wedges, arugula and bell pepper. All of this layered construction came in a branded package.
Having become part of the national culinary culture in the United States and Great Britain, today sandwiches are popular in other countries of the world. These closed sandwiches arrived in Russia and other post-Soviet countries only in the early 1990s, as fast food chains developed, which produce the bulk of the sandwiches.
The holiday itself – Sandwich Day – is celebrated in the United States mainly by cafes and restaurants, where various competitions are held, both among chefs for the most delicious or original sandwich, and among visitors – traditionally on this day, gastronomic competitions in speed eating sandwiches are held.
You can also join this delicious celebration by making a sandwich of your own original recipe for yourself, your family and friends. Indeed, in fact, an ordinary piece of meat (cheese, vegetables or fruits), placed between two slices of bread, can already claim the high title of “sandwich”.