It’s World Sandwich Day – Take a Bite Out of This!

by, Jo Carol Hebert

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A Brief History of the ‘Sandwich’

The ‘sandwich’ is a ‘go-to’ food. It is quick and easy to make. It is good to eat ‘on-the-run’. You can eat a sandwich while you play video games. You can eat a sandwich while you do your homework. You can grab a ‘burger’ in the drive-through of a fast food place after school. The sandwich is a good old American food.  


Why Early America Hated the Sandwich – England and America: A Family Feud

After the landing of the Pilgrims in 1620, many other people from England poured into America. These early colonists were from English families.

At that time, their lands were still controlled from across the ocean by the King of England. Soon, the American colonists rebelled against the King.

They thought they were not being given a ‘voice’ in their own future. They wrote the ‘Declaration of Independence’. This was the American Revolution from 1775-1783. Finally, England’s power over America was broken. 

So, what does all this have to do with the ‘sandwich’?

The Earl of Sandwich – 1762.  England.  

John Montagu was the 4th Earl of Sandwich, a title of prestige and wealth. He spent his time hunting and playing games, especially cards. (There were no video games then).  

The Earl played cards night and day. He didn’t want to stop the game to eat or sleep. So, he asked his cook to bring him something he could eat while he was playing cards. The cook brought some layers of cold meat between two pieces of bread. 

Not the First Sandwich in the World

Actually, Lord Sandwich had traveled in Greece and Turkey. There, he saw platters of ‘mezze’: dips, cheese, and meats between layers of bread. But it was the Earl that made the sandwich popular in England. 

By the time of the Revolutionary War, the rebellious English colonists hated anything English. Since the ‘sandwich’ was popular in England, the Americans would not eat a sandwich. It wasn’t until 1815 that a sandwich recipe appeared in an American cookbook. And the rest is history.

 Did You Know?

  • Americans eat three hundred million (300,000,000) sandwiches each year
  • People in England eat 11.5 billion (11,500,000,000) sandwiches each year
  • 60% of sandwiches eaten around the world are hamburgers
  • Hawaii used to be called the Sandwich Islands (after the Earl)
  • Patrick Bertoletti set a record. He ate 6 peanut butter/jelly sandwiches in 1 minute.
  • The heaviest record-setting sandwich weighed in at 5,440 pounds! It included ingredients of bread, mustard, lettuce, cheese and corned beef.
  • A certain special grilled cheese sandwich in a New York restaurant costs $214
  • Most popular sandwiches: Hamburger, Turkey, and Ham

What’s your favorite sandwich? Want to make a paper sandwich? Check out the pdf with all the ‘makings’ to color, cut, and stack together.  

Happy Sandwich Day!

Now check out Saanvi’s fun presentation about a missing burger!

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