We’ve all heard of that one expression about the best thing since sliced bread. I’m going out on a limb to tell you that this is wrong. There are better things that sliced bread, and one of them just happens to be older than sliced bread itself. Let’s drive that point home with a little thought experiment- nothing too complicated.
Okay, imagine life without ever having seen (or eaten) a sandwich. If we’re thinking super dark, that’s still a lot of people, but work with me here- imagine a bit. Most of us have always taken this elegant culinary solution for granted; as a given that has no end or beginning. The sandwich just is and always has been.
It all comes back to a singular point though, to an idea that highlights the convenience of eating with one hand and not having to clean up after (unless you like sloppy joes). It’s easy, satisfying, and something that translates to so many different cultures and cuisines.
Put something between two pieces (or one large piece) of something else. Who’da thunk?
Wrapping earl up for lunch
The sandwich in its current form is largely attributed to John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. The earl would often ask for a serving of meat between two pieces of bread, presumably to allow him to play cards AND eat at the same time. Montagu is practically a spiritual predecessor to modern day slacker cuisine!
Ah, but the sandwich as we know it reaches further back than the 18th century. Before that, wrapping meat and vegetables in bread was fairly commonplace in the Mediterranean. If you’re wondering what these looked like, it’s not that much of a stretch to imagine. Just look at a modern Greek gyro.
It gets even older than that though! Wrapping meat and all sorts of nice things in a blanket of flat bread is a matter of biblical proportions, with records from the cradle of civilization (roughly the middle east) speaking of a tasty cradle of munchables. Ask anyone who’s familiar with Jewish cuisine about matzah and the Passover experience!
Looking to make some tasty sandwiches on your own? Check out these awesome spreads on your online bazaar: