Guest Author - Catherine Bridges
Sandwiches have most likely been around much longer than their presence has been recorded. The earliest recorded combination of bread with fillings pressed between came when Rabbi Hillel put apple slices, chopped nuts, and some spices between matzos to eat with the bitter herbs during Passover in the 1st century B.C.
The first mention of the word, ?sandwich? came around 1762 when a reporter wrote in the daily news about John Montague, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. As he sat gambling for long hours, the only sustenance he requested was spirits, water, bread, cheese and meat. As he continued to play with one hand, he sat the meat and cheese between the slices of bread and held them in his non-playing hand. Seeing this, others at the nearby tables requested ?the same as Sandwich".
In 1827, Miss Leslie's Directions for Cookery, a popular early cookbook, includes a recipe for ham sandwiches and officially gives them the designation of main dish which garnered public approval of the sandwich to be used as such in the early U.S. In 1900, unsliced, soft, white bread loaves begin to be sold in local general stores and grocery stores. As early as the 1920s, children begin to carry sandwiches in their lunch pails, the most popular fillings of that time were eggs and ham.
In the 1930s, sliced, soft, white bread is first sold by Wonder Bread. During this same period, the comic strip, ?Blondie? introduces the U.S. to Dagwood Bumstead and his crazy, tall-stacked Dagwood sandwiches.
Americas favorite sandwich is, of course, the Peanut Butter and Jelly (PB&J) created by WWII soldiers. The soldiers combined bread, peanut butter and jelly from their c-rations (ready-pack meals). This filling treat spread through the ranks and they then brought the idea home to their families. One of the most famous sandwiches is the Elvis Presley favorite - fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. An interesting aside is that in 2002, the U.S. Army formulated sandwiches that are shelf-stable for up to three years. (However, the soldiers? favorite PB&J, the most requested by troops, is still being perfected.)
Sandwiches today are found not only on all variety of breads (rye, sourdough, pumpernickel, wheat, etc.,) but also on all types of types of breads ? tortillas, focaccia, matzo, pita, and more! Each culture seems to have created their own version of the ?sandwich? ideal for use of leftovers and/or convenient packaging of product and its consumption. Join Sandwiches here at Bellaonline for a journey through some of the classic, new and culturally diverse sandwiches youve ever met.