The Humble Sandwich
Ah the sandwich, where would we be without it? One of us Aussies’ favourite lunchtime staples has come a long way. There’s no need to explain why but just in case, the sandwich is an easy, portable food that is filling, delicious and can be packed full of so many flavours – its versatility knows no bounds! In Australia, 26 sandwiches are eaten per second making it literally the number one choice at lunchtime and throughout the day. Bearing that in mind, we at Brisk thought you might like to gain a little more insight into the sandwich, where it came from and why we love it so much.
Now actually we don’t really know for sure where the term “sandwich” comes from although we can hazard a guess. Popular belief says that it was down to John Montagu who was the fourth Earl of Sandwich, in England, in the late 18th century.
While he wasn’t responsible for the sandwich invention, it’s believed that he was the person who put his stamp on the dish and made it popular. It came down to a simple game of cards. The Earl was a prolific gambler and didn’t want to interrupt his game by eating. So he asked his house cook for a slice of cold meat to be served between bread so he could easily pick it up. He enjoyed it so much; he started to request it regularly, not only at home but also when he was out. His friends and rivals soon adopted the idea and would call for a dish “The same as Sandwich”. Soon, the words “The same as” were dropped in favour of “I’ll have a sandwich” and the name stuck!
While he is credited for the name, he was a seasoned traveller and even visited Greece and Turkey. It was in these countries where he noted how Meze food was eaten, between slices of thin bread. It’s believed this is what inspired him to develop the British-style sandwich.
Now, while the name may have come from the Earl of Sandwich, actually sandwiches were prepared for many thousands of years beforehand and in the Middle East, people often ate their food in between pieces of unleavened bread. In the year 1BC, it was a Rabbi who began the Jewish Passover tradition of mixing up lamb, nuts and herbs between thin slices of unleavened bread. Fast forward through time to the Middle Ages and people used to use huge hunks of bread as plates. They would place their hot meat and veg on top. While this wasn’t a closed sandwich, you could argue that this was probably the first open sandwich – although we don’t think they actually ate the bread! The Dutch also used to serve their bread and butter with meat or fish and eat it “open”.
Here are some more sandwich facts you might want to chew over…
- The South Sandwich Islands in the South Atlantic are also named after the Earl of Sandwich
- In the UK, six chicken sandwiches are eaten per second and 12 billion sandwiches are eaten every year
- The world’s largest sandwich weighs 5,440 lb
- In 2008 there was an attempt to beat the record for the world’s largest sandwich. However, the attempt failed as the crowd ate the sandwich before it was measured!
- In the USA, the average American will have enjoyed 1,500 peanut and jelly (jam) sandwiches by the time they leave High School
- Nearly 7.5 million Aussies eat vegemite weekly
- To sandwich is a verb that is 200 years old and was first used in 1815. It means…to have a light meal!
- The most expensive sandwich was made by Tom Bridge and sold on EBay in 2006 for $610 AUS!
Brisk is renowned for great tasting sandwiches. We don’t just make sandwiches; we lovingly prepare wraps, baguettes, gluten-free varieties, ciabatta rolls and gourmet sandwiches with an array of sumptuous, fresh and exciting flavours to please even the fussiest palette! That’s what makes us the best corporate caterers in Melbourne’s CBD.