All About Sandwiches

What do you call the popular handheld meal consisting of bread filled with various ingredients? Is it a sandwich, butty, sarnie, hoagie, sub, sammy or baguette?

Whatever name you give it, it's a household favourite both here and around the world. Here are some fascinating facts about sandwiches (or whatever you call them).

Origins and fascinating facts - what's the name 'Sandwich' all about?

The origin of the sandwich as we know it, is said to date back to 1762 by John Montagu - the 4th Earl of Sandwich. As a committed and very dedicated gambler, he asked for meat to be served two slices of bread to avoid him having to leave the table and interrupting his card game. It is thought some people then went on to order "the same as Sandwich" and the name stuck!

I say Bread Roll, you say??

Us Brits have many names for the types of bread that make sandwiches - cobs, rolls, baps. Sliced bread is sliced bread - that's easy. But where you live in Britain will probably determine what you call a traditional bread roll.

The Scots ask for a Bridie, Buttery or Rowie.

In the North East it's a Stotty, Bap or Cob.

If you say Barm Cake - you're obviously from the North West.

Over in Yorkshire they prefer Scuffler, Bread-Cake or Cob.

It's a Morning Roll in the Midlands.

In East Anglia it's a Vienna or a Buttery.

And, if you're heading to Cornwall, look out for an Oggie.

The World's Most Expensive Sandwich

According to Guinness World Records, the world's most expensive sandwich commercially available is the "Quintessential Grilled Cheese" which sells for $214US (£132.64). It was sold as of 29 October 2014 at Serendipity 3 in New York.

So what makes this sandwich so special - and so expensive. Firstly, it's served on two pieces of French Pullman champagne bread which is made with Dom Perignon champagne and edible gold flakes. Then, there's the white truffle butter and the very rare Caciocavallo Podolico cheese. Finally, the sandwich is served with South African Lobster Tomato Bisque as a dipping sauce. So do you think all this is worth the money? Hmmm ... I'm not so sure.

Famous Sandwich Fans

For me, my favourite sandwich enthusiast has to be Scooby Doo. His 'Scooby Snack' Sandwiches were the stuff of legends. Scooby Doo could snaffle a mega sandwich in seconds. I'm sure it's where sandwich-chain Subway got the idea for the foot long.

For a little light relief @celebsonsandwiches is a must-follow Instagram account. Beautiful watercolour creations hilariously depict celebrities in various poses upon an array of sandwiches and snacks. There's Dolly Parton on a Hot Chicken Sandwich. David Attenborough (and a Meerkat) sat upon a veggie sandwich. Borat (complete with mankini) lounging on a roasted goat sandwich. Definitely one to check out!

Should you triangle? Is it a rectangle? How about square? What's the best way to cut a sandwich?

It's a dilemma for many of us I'm sure (yes, I am being tongue in cheek). What is the best way to cut a sandwich? If I'm feeling posh, then it's always triangles. Everyday, I go for squares because I think it lasts longer (odd, I know). If I do go oblong, I tend to cut top to bottom rather than across the centre. My thinking is that by cutting this way you get both types of crust at the same time and it prevents you deciding whether you eat the top crust or the bottom crust first.

Anyway, what do the chefs say? Having done some online research, firstly, chefs agree that sandwiches should be cut. We should never consider 'going whole' as apparently, you're at the greatest risk of losing your ingredients. And, that would never do. In the main, a diagonal cut is considered the best, especially when tackling a grilled sandwich. A diagonal cut is said to be more manageable and avoids any possibility of cutting your mouth. Diagonal cuts are also said to be the best for those that are crust-averse. It maximises consumption and gives the illusion that there is less crust than a rectangular counterpart.

But there are benefits to going rectangular - especially if you plan to share. You get to see all of the layers of the sandwich.

Overall, the thing I've found is that it's all down to personal preference. But, the most important thing has to be making sure that you have a sharp knife.

Sandwiches from around the world

Sandwiches may have got their name from an English Earl, but they're not just a British thing. They're just as popular around the world but the fillings are somewhat different. In our blog post of Sandwiches from around the World, you can find out where they eat fruit and cream sandwiches and the difference between a Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame - amongst other things!

Recent Posts

See All