Every day, half of America eats one or more sandwiches, mostly for lunch. This equates to 300 million per day. They are easy, they are filling, no fuss, no fuss. And you don’t even have to know how to cook. The varieties are endless, so where do you start? The shortlist includes BLT, Grilled Cheese, Club, Pinewood, French Dip, Monte Cristo, Muffuletta, Pastrami or Corned Beef on Rye, PB&J, Cheesesteak, Po ‘Boy, the ruben, the sloppy Joe, the sub, the fried egg. It is endless.
The British first called a “sandwich” “chunks of cold meat”, named after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, who was an 18th century aristocrat. Legend has it that he ordered his servant to bring him meat between two pieces of bread while he was playing cards with his friends. Apparently he could play without interruption, as the bread acted as a napkin (rather than his sleeve) and kept the card table tidy. His friends understood and followed his example. What was in them we will never know, but what a start (the count will never know).
Let’s take a look at these favorites:
1) Elvis immortalized the Fried Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich, though there isn’t a big call for it.
2) Dagwood, named after comic book husband Blondie, stacks toppings and bread, impossible to eat except in sections, but Dagwood Bumstead somehow succeeded.
3) The French created this sinful sandwich in a Parisian cafe in 1910; there is no one named Monte Cristo but just a French term (Croque Monsieur) to describe a fried ham and cheese sandwich, not on a weight loss program to be sure.
4) Sloppy Joe: Kids grew up with these tangy and messy sandwiches. Its origin dates back to the 1930s and was created by a cook named Joe in Sioux City, Iowa. Originally called a “loose meat sandwich,” it seems Joe added some tomato sauce which took him up a notch; As his popularity grew, Joe wanted to gain credit and rename him after him. The folks in Key West Florida insist it was imagined at a local bar called Sloppy Joe’s. Some historians want to give credit to Cuba, but let’s just give it to Iowa, okay?
5) Sub: Sub sandwiches seem to multiply every day with no end in sight; also known as hoagies, heroes or grinders in the United States with a plethora of toppings, they come in long feet and smaller sizes, perfect for Sunday afternoon televised sports or lunch fast.
6) Club: undeniably the great lady of sandwiches. Historians trace its creation to the Saratoga Club House, an exclusive gaming facility in Saratoga Springs, New York. Since its inception in 1894, the standard ingredients haven’t changed: toast, lettuce, tomato, turkey or chicken slices, bacon and mayonnaise, and don’t forget the toothpicks. The BLT is a first cousin of its predecessor, without the turkey / chicken or third slice of toast. The Club has stood the test of time. Its only controversy is the turkey / chicken debate. (World-class chef James Beard insists on chicken.)
7) If you are a resident of New Orleans, the sandwich of choice is the Muffuletta, the popularity of which is claimed by the central grocery store where it debuted. A large round loaf of Sicilian sesame bread is loaded with Italian sliced meats and a spicy Creole olive salad. (If you don’t live in New Orleans, you’re on your own.)
8) Peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese, both beloved. Nuff said.
9) Reubens and pastrami or corned beef on rye take precedence in any self-respecting deli, especially Jewish. Brush with mustard, add a few kosher dill pickles and you are in business. For a Ruben, throw sauerkraut and a thousand islands
10) These Louisiana folks love their originals. The Po ‘Boy is basically a submarine filled with deep fried meat or seafood, similar to the Northeastern Lobster Roll.
11) Oh my God, don’t ask anyone in Philadelphia about Philly cheesesteaks because they’re big fans of it. Be prepared for a never-ending response. The same goes for Chicago’s most popular sandwich, Italian Beef: Italian bread loaded with thinly sliced beef, topped with peppers and dripping with juice, hold the cheese; The All-American French Plunge (despite the name) is a takeoff, but rather bland in comparison.
12) I can’t forget these wonderful “related” toppings: egg salad, ham salad, chicken salad and tuna salad; we corner the market on these, whether served delicately in teas and parties or just a big scoop of whole wheat.
12) Pita sandwiches filled with turkey, cheese, avocado, hummus or falafel; a trendy ethnic version of the basics.
13) Fast food chicken burgers and sandwiches are a whole different topic.
Sales of sandwiches in the United States exceeded $ 27.7 billion, not including home-made sandwiches. Wow, that’s literally bread. Apparently, the United States isn’t the only country that loves their sandwiches. In 2017, the prefabricated sandwich industry in the UK manufactured and sold US $ 11 billion, not including fresh produce.
We’re not even going to get into the sandwich cookies (Oreos) and ice cream sandwiches. It’s too exhausting. So many sandwiches, so little time.