Opinion: The sandwich anniversary

POSTED: 05/14/12 12:39 PM

We’re addicted to useless information and the following definitely falls in that category: the sandwich turned 250 years of age this weekend.

In the southeast of England is a place called – you got that right – Sandwich. The good citizens of this place celebrated the sandwich’s anniversary this weekend by preparing bread with filling. The eleventh earl of sandwich and several other experts judged the taste of the creations during a lunch where they served – right – only sandwiches.

How’d that ever happen? The story is that the fourth earl of sandwich, John Montagu, was a fervent card player. We’re able to relate to a guy like that.

A meal in the circles of this Montagu was usually a huge affair whereby servants (in the Caribbean we’d call them slaves – but that is another story) kept bringing food to the table. Cutting the food, let alone woofing it down, took hours.

One day in 1762 Montagu had had enough of these lunches that kept interfering with his card games. He wanted to keep playing (which makes us think that he was losing heavily) and he favored eating with his hands anyway. So he ordered bread filled with meat. Et voilà: the sandwich was born.

The current earl of Sandwich is of course a sandwich-fan and also an expert on this finger food. His favorite sandwich: freshly baked bread with grilled beef and horseradish sauce.

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