Jam sandwich (food)

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This article is about the food. For other uses, see Jam sandwich (disambiguation).
Jam sandwich
Type Lunch or snack
Place of origin
United Kingdom
Main ingredients
Sliced bread, butter or margarine, jam
Cookbook:Jam sandwich  Jam sandwich

A jam sandwich is usually composed of two slices of bread, butter or margarine, and jam (traditionally strawberry) which is normally consumed at lunchtime or as a quick "snack." In the United States the phrase jam sandwich commonly refers to a toast sandwich.


Jam sandwiches are thought to have originated at around the 19th century in the United Kingdom. In Scotland they are known as pieces and jam or jeely pieces. The jam sandwich was an affordable food which was a major part of the diets of the lower/working-class people of cities such as London and Glasgow. One plausible reason for this was that the ingredients that the jam sandwiches were made from cost little to manufacture and due to taxes being lifted on sugar in 1880, it became widely available as a cheap foodstuff. Today, jam sandwiches are mainly consumed by children. Shops do not often sell individual jam sandwiches.

Ingredients and nutrition[edit]

  • Any type of jam
  • Bread or Brown Bread (white or wholemeal)
  • Margarine or butter (optional)

In popular culture[edit]

Steve Urkel of the sitcom Family Matters can frequently be seen with a jam sandwich in most episodes. In the select few episodes where he doesn't have a jam sandwich, the actor Jaleel White has been cited to have been "thinking about jam sandwiches the entire time."

The popular Scottish folk song The Jeely Piece Song which appeared in the in 1960s humorously describes the effect of new social housing policies on the eating habits of Scottish youngsters. The lyrics were written by Adam McNaughton. It was performed by Matt McGinn and many others.


  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-1148245/This-just-jam-sandwich--Oh-actually-Why-M-S-thinks-need-bite-comfort-food.html
  2. http://www.missscott.co.uk/files/1178572810_Instructions__JAM_SANDWICH_.doc
  3. http://www.virginmedia.com/homefamily/fooddrink/greatest-sandwiches.php
  4. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2009/feb/18/jam-sandwich-marks-and-spencer
  5. http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/learning/what_can_you_learn_from_the_jeely_piece_song.shtml