Salmon and cream cheese sandwiches
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A sandwich is a food item commonly consisting of two or more slices of bread, with one or more fillings between them. Sandwiches are a widely popular type of lunch food, typically taken to work, school, or picnics to be eaten as part of a packed lunch. The bread can be used as it is, or it can be coated with any condiments to enhance flavour and texture. They are also widely sold in restaurants and cafes, served hot or cold.
The ancient Jewish sage Hillel the Elder is said to have wrapped meat from the Paschal lamb and bitter herbs between two pieces of old-fashioned soft matzah, flat, unleavened bread, during Passover in the manner of a modern sandwich wrap made with flatbread. Flat breads of only slightly varying kinds have long been used to scoop or wrap small amounts of food en route from platter to mouth throughout Western Asia and northern Africa. From Morocco to Ethiopia to India, bread is baked in flat rounds, contrasting with the European loaf tradition.
During the Middle Ages in Europe, thick slabs of coarse and usually stale bread, called "trenchers", were used as plates. After a meal, the food-soaked trencher was fed to a dog or to beggars at the tables of the wealthy, and eaten by diners in more modest circumstances. Trenchers were the precursors of open-face sandwiches.[dubious ] The immediate culinary precursor with a direct connection to the English sandwich was to be found in the Netherlands of the 17th century, where the naturalist John Ray observed that in the taverns beef hung from the rafters "which they cut into thin slices and eat with bread and butter laying the slices upon the butter"— explanatory specifications that reveal the Dutch belegde broodje, open faced sandwich, was as yet unfamiliar in England.
Initially perceived as food men shared while gaming and drinking at night, the sandwich slowly began appearing in polite society as a late-night meal among the aristocracy. The sandwich's popularity in Spain and England increased dramatically during the 19th century, when the rise of an industrial society and the working classes made fast, portable, and inexpensive meals essential.
It was at the same time that the sandwich finally began to appear outside of Europe. In the United States, the sandwich was first promoted as an elaborate meal at supper. By the early 20th century, as bread became a staple of the American diet, the sandwich became the same kind of popular, quick meal as was already widespread in the Mediterranean.
The first written usage of the English word appeared in Edward Gibbon's journal, in longhand, referring to "bits of cold meat" as a "Sandwich". It was named after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, an 18th-century English aristocrat, although he was neither the inventor nor sustainer of the food. It is said that he ordered his valet to bring him meat tucked between two pieces of bread, and because Montagu also happened to be the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, others began to order "the same as Sandwich!" It is said that Lord Sandwich was fond of this form of food because it allowed him to continue playing cards, particularly cribbage, while eating without getting his cards greasy from eating meat with his bare hands.
The rumour in its familiar form appeared in Pierre-Jean Grosley's Londres (Neichatel, 1770), translated as A Tour to London 1772; Grosley's impressions had been formed during a year in London in 1765. The sober alternative is provided by Sandwich's biographer, N. A. M. Rodger, who suggests Sandwich's commitments to the navy, to politics and the arts mean the first sandwich was more likely to have been consumed at his desk.
Before being known as sandwiches, the food seems to simply have been known as "bread and meat" or "bread and cheese".
In the United States, a court in Boston, Massachusetts ruled that "sandwich" includes at least two slices of bread. and "under this definition, this court finds that the term 'sandwich' is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos, and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans." The issue stemmed from the question of whether a restaurant that sold burritos could move into a shopping centre where another restaurant had a no-compete clause in its lease prohibiting other "sandwich" shops.
In Australia, the term "sandwich" is more narrowly defined than in the US: it refers only to an item which uses sliced bread from a loaf. A item with similar fillings, but using an entire bread roll cut horizontally in half, is always referred to as a "roll". (In South Australia, there is a regional variant of the "roll", superficially similar to a club sandwich, where the bread roll is sliced three times (parallel cuts), and filling is put in the first and third openings, but not the second. This makes the resulting "double cut roll" easier to handle: the top half and the bottom half are eaten separately.) Any hot item based on a bread roll is referred to as a "burger", never as a "sandwich". However, hot sliced (not ground) beef between two slices of toasted bread is referred to as a "steak sandwich" - it is the sliced loaf bread that distinguishes the steak sandwich from a "burger".
The verb to sandwich has the meaning to position anything between two other things of a different character, or to place different elements alternately, and the noun sandwich has related meanings derived from this more general definition. For example, an ice cream sandwich consists of a layer of ice cream between two layers of cake or biscuit. Similarly, Oreos and Custard Creams are described as sandwich biscuits because they consist of a soft filling between layers of biscuit.
The word "butty" is often used in Northern areas of the United Kingdom as a synonym for "sandwich", particularly in the name of certain kinds of sandwiches such as a chip butty, bacon butty, or sausage butty. "Sarnie" is a similar colloquialism, as is the Australian English colloquialism "sanger". Likewise, the words "sanger" and "piece" are used for sandwich in Scottish dialect; regarding the latter, an example of the use of "piece" is "piece and ham", meaning "piece of bread and ham".
- Cheese sandwich
- Club sandwich
- French dip
- Monte Cristo
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- Philadelphia cheesesteak
- Po' boy
- Sloppy joe
- Submarine sandwich
Croque-monsieur, a French ham and cheese hot sandwich
Smoked meat sandwich
French bread sandwich with fries
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- Foundations of Restaurant Management & Culinary Arts Level Two. Pearson. 2011. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-13-138022-6.
- Foundations of Restaurant Management & Cullinary Arts Level Two. Pearson. 2011. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-13-138022-6.
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- Bavli Pesachim 115a; See also Passover Hagadah
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- Ray, Observations topographical, moral, & physiological; made in a journey through part of the Low Countries, Germany, Italy, and France... (vol. I, 1673) quoted in Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches (1987:152).
- Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, Solomon H. Katz, editor (Charles Scribner's Sons: New York) 2003
- The Oxford English Dictionary gives its appearance as 1762.
- Grosley, Londres (Neuchatel, 1770) and A Tour to London, or, New observations on England and its inhabitants, translated from the French by Thomas Nugent (London: Printed for Lockyer Davis) 1772; Hexmasters Faktoider: Sandwich: English quotes from Grosley 1772
- White City Shopping Ctr., LP v. PR Rests., LLC, 21 Mass. L. Rep. 565 (Mass. Super. Ct. 2006)
- Collado, Asunción López (1994-01). "Hostelería, curso completo de servicios". Asunción López Collado (in Spanish). ISBN 978-84-283-2035-1. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
- "Consultorio gastronómico". La Verdad Digital S.L. (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 July 2010.
- The Oxford English Dictionary
- Taste Taste: Ice Cream Sandwiches, NYmag.com
- Oreo Sandwich Biscuits, Nabiscoworld.com
- Carlos, Brenda. "Fascinating Facts about the Sandwich". Chefs.com. Retrieved 5 October 2011.