Half the United States eats one or more sandwiches every day, mostly for lunch. That is estimated at 300 million per day. They are easy, they fill, without messy, without problems. And you don’t even have to know how to cook. The varieties are endless, so where do we start? The short list includes BLT, Grilled Cheese, Club, Dagwood, French Dip, Monte Cristo, Muffuletta, Pastrami or Corned Beef with rye, PB&J, Cheesesteak, Po ‘boy, Reuben, Sloppy Joe, Submarine, Fried Egg. It is endless.
The British first referred to “cold pieces of meat” as a “sandwich”, named after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, an 18th century aristocrat. Legend has it that he instructed his servant to bring him some meat between two pieces of bread while he played cards with his cronies. He was apparently able to play non-stop, as the bread acted as a napkin (rather than his sleeve) and kept the game table tidy. His cronies noticed and followed suit. What was in them we will never know, but what a beginning (the Count will never know).
Let’s take a look at these favorites:
1) Elvis immortalized the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, though there’s no great calling for it.
2) Dagwood, named after the comic strip husband Blondie, stacks fillings and bread, impossible to eat except in sections, but somehow Dagwood Bumstead managed.
3) The French originated this sinful sandwich in a Parisian cafe in 1910; There is no one named Monte Cristo, but simply a French term (Croque Monsieur) to describe a fried ham and cheese sandwich, not in any weight loss program, of course.
4) Sloppy Joe – Kids grew up on these dirty, spicy sandwiches. Its origins date back to the 1930s and it was created by a cook named Joe in Sioux City, Iowa. Originally called a “loose meat sandwich,” it appears that Joe added ketchup that made it rise a bit; As his popularity grew, Joe wanted to get credit and renamed it after himself. The people of Key West Florida insist it was devised at a local bar called Sloppy Joe’s. Some historians want to give Cuba the credit, but let’s give it to Iowa, okay?
5) Submarine: Submarine sandwich shops seem to multiply daily with no end in sight; Also known as hoagies, heroes, or grinders in the US with a multitude of fillings, they come in sizes 12 inches and smaller, perfect for Sunday afternoon TV sports or a quick lunch.
6) Club: without a doubt, the great lady of sandwiches. Historians trace his creation to the Saratoga Club House, an exclusive gambling venue in Saratoga Springs, New York. Since its inception in 1894, the standard ingredients haven’t changed: toast, lettuce, tomato, sliced turkey or chicken, bacon and mayo, and don’t forget toothpicks. The BLT is a first cousin to its predecessor, without the turkey / chicken or the third slice of toast. The Club has stood the test of time. His only controversy is the turkey-chicken debate. (World-class chef James Beard insists on chicken.)
7) If you are a resident of New Orleans, the sandwich of choice is the Muffuletta, the popularity of which is claimed by Central Grocery, where it started. A large loaf of Sicilian sesame bread is loaded with sliced Italian meats and a spicy Creole olive salad. (If you don’t live in New Orleans, you are alone.)
8) Peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese, both adored without brains. ‘Nuff said.
9) Reubens and pastrami or corned beef with rye rank high in any self-respecting deli, especially Jewish. Slather on some mustard, add some kosher dill pickles and you’re in business. For a Reuben, add a little sauerkraut and a thousand islands
10) Those Louisiana folks surely love their originals. The Po ‘Boy is basically a submarine stuffed with fried meat or seafood, similar to the Northeast lobster roll.
11) Wow, don’t ask anyone in Philadelphia about Philadelphia cheesesteaks, because they are fans of them. Be prepared for a long answer. The same goes for Chicago’s most popular sandwich, the Italian Beef: Italian bread loaded with thinly sliced beef, topped with bell peppers and dripping juice, holds the cheese; The all-American French dip (despite its name) is a takeoff, but rather bland in comparison.
12) I can’t leave out those wonderful “bound” fillings: egg salad, ham salad, chicken salad, and tuna salad; we’re cornering the market with those, whether they’re delicately served in teas and parties or just a large scoop of whole wheat.
12) Pita sandwiches packed with turkey, cheese, avocado, hummus, or falafel; a trendy ethnic take on the basics.
13) Burgers and fast food chicken sandwiches are another topic.
Sandwich sales in the US topped $ 27.7 billion and that’s not counting homemade sandwiches. Wow, that’s a lot of bread, literally. Apparently, the United States is not the only country that likes its sandwiches. In 2017, the pre-made sandwich industry in the UK made and sold US $ 11 billion, and that’s not counting fresh ones.
We’re not even going to start with sandwich cookies (Oreos) and ice cream sandwiches. It is too exhausting. So many snacks, so little time.