250th anniversary of the sandwich

This year is the 250th anniversary of the sandwich. According to the British Sandwich Association, John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, was playing cards when he requested meat between pieces of bread so he could easily eat without interrupting the game. From BBC News:

 Wp-Content Uploads 2010 04 Dagwood Secondary

Foodsmith Sam Bompas said the Earl of Sandwich was eating with his fingers "when cutlery was de rigueur".

"Eating of record at the time was service á la française where all the food went on the table at the same time and there was an elaborate ritual of carving, aided by troops of servants," said Mr Bompas.

"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."

"Sandwich celebrates 250th anniversary of the sandwich"


  1. There truly is no courage like the courage required for somebody with a fat pile of money and a peerage to gamble his way

  2. We should all be grateful that John Montagu didn’t hail from a less-fortunately named UK locale like Crapstone or Crotch Crescent.

  3. Somewhere in an alternate universe where Hitchhiker’ s Guide to the Galaxy is real, Arthur Dent is celebrating this day as Chief Sandwich Maker.

    1. You mean Chief Portsmouth Maker!

      FTA: “When he was offered the earldom he could have chosen Portsmouth but he chose Sandwich – today we could be eating a Portsmouth.”

      Ya know, that name makes more sense on a lot of levels.

  4. Does anyone doubt the causal connection between the invention of the sandwich in 1762 and the American Revolution in 1776?  You can still see the crumbs in the creases of the Declaration of Independence. 

  5. Being all pedantic, he didn’t invent the idea, just gave it a boost in popularity among The Important People.

    1. Or as he’s inexplicably known in Spanish, “Lorenzo Parachoques”.
      Lawrence Bumper, as in “Car Bumper”.

        1. Another one that leaves everyone scratching their heads with a grin on their face,
          Bruce Wayne:  Bruno Diaz
          Dick Grayson:  Ricardo Tapia

  6. Recently I had the best sandwich ever, and I made it, making it up as it went along.  In four stages, the first two can be prepared ahead of time:

    Oleo: butter and olive oil with finely chopped garlic, a sprinkle of powdered onion, paprika and just a pinch of basil, place in the fridge for an hour.  This will replace mayo.

    Make a bed of thin slices of tomato with chopped shallot on top, sprinkle olive oil and just a bit of balsamic vinegar, add a pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper.  Let chill for a while.

    Split a baguette, make a cradle with the top half by taking out the soft crumb.  Lightly toast with the oleo, then toast it some more with swiss cheese on the cradle and a slice of smoked turkey ham on the bottom half.

    Then out of the toaster oven and the final stage:  pile on a bit of brie or camembert cheese, three slices of prosciutto, five slices of salami, the tomatoes with shallot, and your mustard of choice.  Avocado optional.


      1. ‘Ruining proscuitto with mustard’ is nothing compared to what he suggested doing to that innocent baguette. Furthermore, adulteration of butter like that is probably still illegal in most jurisdictions; and suggesting that an avocado should be brought anywhere near a sandwich deserves hanging, drawing, and quartering.

        (Just my opinion).

        Incidentally, did ‘sandwich’ initially have a capital ‘S’? If so, when did it change to lower case?

        1. Orthodox puritans, sheesh…

          But seriously, like I said, it was a process of improvisation, and the result was more than the sum of its’ parts.  And it may have been jamón serrano instead of prosciutto, definitely not the same thing.

          About the avocado, factoid of note:  I live in Mexico, and because of the long the USA embargo on mexican avocado, it’s always been plentiful, inexpensive and everywhere.  For example, the more successful taco stands go through several buckets of avocado paste in the course of a day.

  7. Marshall McLuhan hated Dagwood Bumstead. He mentioned this in ‘The Mechanical Bride’.

  8. toasted rye bread
    helman’s mayo with olive oil dress the bread
    aprox six slices of ham on each piece of bread
    aged swiss slices over the ham
    heat in toaster oven until cheese is melted
    spicy brown mustard
    pile spinach greens as high as possible
    pickle slices over spinach
    combine halves into one sandwich
    BEST SANDWICH EVAR!!!!!eleven!

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