John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich keeps getting the credit for mashing meat and cheese inside of some bread.
The definition of a sandwich varies, with some people having a minimum topping requirement to allow the use of the term sandwich, but here’s a dictionary version:
sanˌ(d)wiCHnounnoun: sandwich; plural noun: sandwiches
- 1.an item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with meat, cheese, or other filling between them, eaten as a light meal.“a ham sandwich”
- something that is constructed like or has the form of a sandwich.
The idea that it took until a 1700′s poker game for a guy to put some meat on some bread is absolutely insane. An old rich white guy wanted to eat something that wouldn’t require him to stop playing a game. It’s unlikely that he even made his first sandwich himself. His servants prepared it and he probably went crazy over how amazing it was.
Considering his sandwich was most likely salt beef on toast (salt beef is British for corned beef) it wasn’t exactly a stretch of the imagination. It was really just a way to put a handle on a stack of corned beef.
Pre-Earl of Sandwich Sandwiches
Long before Sandwich, Hillel the Elder was a prominent Jewish religious leader who was known for eating lamb on unleavened bread with bitter herbs during Passover. (He was known for many other things, but for now lets focus on the meat-on-bread related stuff.) He died by the year 7.
There are records demonstrating that Arabic people have been putting meat onto pita bread for basically forever. Casually. Without making a big Montaguian stink about the whole thing.
During the Middle Ages in Europe, bread was used as plates because plates were expensive as heck.
And around the time of the Earl of Sandwich, Pubs in the Netherlands were commonly serving sliced meat on a slice of buttered bread. Like, all over the place.
So really, John Montagu was a jerk. Calling a sandwich a sandwich isn’t entirely different than if we just started calling pizza a “Kennedy” or a taco a “Trump.”
And other lunchmeat lies
- You shouldn’t always eat “cold cuts” cold. The Center for Disease Control recommends that people over 50 heat their lunchmeat to at least 180 degrees before consumption.
- While most people attribute the popularity of SPAM to wartime rationing, the creator had already sold thousands of tons of the stuff by the time the war began. And have sold exponentially more SPAM since the end of World War II.
- Subway started out as Pete’s Super Submarines before changing their name to Doctor’s Associates to aid in franchising, (which was of course never meant to be misleading to the general public at all.)
- The accurate spelling of Subway is actually SUBWAY. Seriously.
- 1.insert or squeeze (someone or something) between two other people or things, typically in a restricted space or so as to be uncomfortable.“the girl was sandwiched between two burly men in the back of the car”
Verb definition included because it’s funny to think that the Earl of Sandwich lent his name to a verb resulting in this sample usage.