If you think you know everything about your favorite, beloved, quick to eat, scrumptious, mouth watering, hunger satiating (wipes off drool)sandwich, think again. Yes, you heard me right. Sandwich is one of those foods that has its own birth story, too underrated for its own good, and I think it’s high time someone told you about it. The philosopher and foodie in me decided to tell the children of today about its origin, which is much better than that of our X-Men.
Fun Fact: The first recorded sandwich was by the famous rabbi, Hillel the Elder, who lived during the 1 st century B.C. He started the Passover custom of sandwiching a mixture of chopped nuts, apples, spices, and wine between two matzos to eat with bitter herbs.
In case you’re not a grammar Nazi ~because there aren’t enough of us in the world~ let me make this easier for you. Sandwich is an eponym- a person after whom a discovery, invention, place, etc, is named or thought to be named. Our very own sandwich was named after a very special person.
Cue Drum Roll
John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. BOOM. Sandwich is a place.
A long time ago lived John Montagu (1718-1792). Now this guy, he had a love for gambling. A love so profound, that all he did usually was gamble. He was famous for a few other things as well, but hey, gambling was the coolest among them all. He once spent twenty-four hours at the gaming-table. Talk about commitment.
But a guy’s gotta eat right? Since he never wanted to let go of his cards, or hold them with dirty hands, and was too lazy to use a knife and fork, he ordered his cook to bring him some cold beef between two slices of toast. Pretty fucking convenient it was. No mess, no fuss, three quick bites and you’re done. Back to gambling happily. It was so convenient, that everyone around else started ordering, “Same as Sandwich!”
This was the beginning of the trend where you called the sandwich by its name, also earning the term of “a bread enclosed convenience food”. Sandwiches these days consist of yummy variations from burgers, to submarines or subs, shawarmas, clubs, open sandwiches and whatnot. And of course we have our desi variations to be proud of. The list is never ending, and so is the hunger.
What I want you to remember the next time you take a bite of your sandwich, is to say a small prayer of gratitude that we have a name for it, otherwise it would be pretty darn awkward ordering for “The stuffed bread has no name.”