Egg sandwich

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Egg sandwich
Egg Sandwich.jpg
An egg sandwich
Type Sandwich
Main ingredients Bread, eggs (boiled eggs or egg salad)
Cookbook: Egg sandwich  Media: Egg sandwich

An egg sandwich is a sandwich with some kind of egg filling. Sliced boiled eggs or egg salad are popular options.


Whilst egg sandwich history started before this, during World War II and prompted by meat rations, a manager for a White Castle at St. Louis introduced the first fast food egg dish with a fried egg sandwich. However, the dish was unpopular, and was abandoned as soon as the meat rations were lifted.[1]

Types of egg sandwich[edit]

Beyond the basic model of fried egg between slices of bread, many common sandwiches have variations that include a fried egg in addition to bacon, sausage, cheese, black pudding, cold cuts, or as another topping to a hamburger.[citation needed] A popular breakfast sandwich in New Jersey consists of a fried egg, pork roll, and American cheese on a roll, often topped with salt, pepper, and ketchup.[citation needed] The Southern egg sandwich consists of bread, egg, cheese, and mayonnaise.[citation needed] A savory/sweet variation from California is the Lawler Sandwich; it is made of a fried egg (broken yolk), bread, cheese, mayonnaise, and jam (typically raspberry).[citation needed]

Fried egg sandwiches[edit]

A 1910 New York Times article shows that at that time, fried egg sandwiches were the epitome of the prosaic. It describes a motion picture set where actors are rehearsing a "trick picture" (i.e. a special effects scene). The reporter, watching actors in costume killing time while awaiting their cues, says "the horrible Frankenstein smoking a pipe and discussing the weather and the political situation was odd, but it was hard to beat two deathlike phantoms eating fried egg sandwiches!"[2]

In her memoir, food writer Gael Greene writes of a brief and casual romantic encounter with Elvis Presley. At its conclusion, he gestured toward the phone and asked "Would you mind calling room service and ordering me a fried egg sandwich?" Greene says "The fried egg sandwich—that part I remember. I can't remember how big It was, how long the sex lasted, or who was on top (probably me). But I have never forgotten the fried egg sandwich. Yes, the totemic fried egg sandwich. At that moment, it might have been clear I was born to be a restaurant critic."[3]

United Kingdom[edit]

Fried-egg over hard, with bacon and cheese, on a sesame bagel.

A 1905 British cookbook describes an "egg sandwich" made with sliced hard-boiled eggs, marinated in oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper, and garnished with minced watercress. An "egg and chutney sandwich" is made from chutney and minced hard-boiled eggs; an "egg cream" sandwich from hard-boiled eggs pounded into a smooth paste and seasoned with anchovies and mustard.[4] A common alternative is to mash the hard-boiled egg together with mayonnaise, salt and black pepper, usually called simply egg spread, or an egg mayonnaise or egg mayo. Cress is often seen as the typical accompaniment to an egg sandwich.

It is worth noting in passing that the term sandwich in English or Australian use always refers to a filling of any sort between two slices of bread: that is, bread slices from a loaf. An egg sandwich is thus egg between two bread slices. The same filling served in a cut roll, bagel, muffin or the like is not, ever, a "sandwich". It is an egg roll, egg bagel, egg muffin etc. See OED Sandwich entry.

A popular filling snack with British troops since at least World War I, the "egg banjo" is a sandwich of a runny fried egg between two thick slices of bread[5] (if possible, buttered or with margarine), often accompanied by a mug of "gunfire". A popular account of the term's origins, possibly a false etymology, is the act of cleaning spilt egg off one's body, the sandwich held out to the side with one hand whilst the other wipes at the drips, giving the impression of playing an invisible banjo.[6]

Egg banjos are still quite common in certain Commonwealth countries. For example, sold by roadside burger vendors or, in Malaysia, as street food.

Egg salad[edit]

An egg salad sandwich with french fries

It is also common, in the United States, to use egg salad as a sandwich filling.[7][better reference needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, Andrew F. (2006). "Egg Fast Food". Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food. Greenwood Press. p. 86. ISBN 9780313335273. LCCN 2006012113. 
  2. ^ "Moving Pictures Sound Melodrama's Knell", The New York Times, March 20, 1910, p. SM7
  3. ^ Greene, Gael (2006). Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess. Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-57699-9. p. 10
  4. ^ Beaty-Pownal, S. (1905). The "Queen" Cookery Books No. 9: Salads, Sandwiches, and Savories, Second Edition. London: Horace Cox.  pp. 33-4, online [1]. Note: description based on Google Books title page, which differs slightly from Google Books "about this book" information.
  5. ^ Tom Daziel; Terry Victor (eds.). "Banjo". The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. ISBN 0415212596. Banjo noun 1 a generously proportioned sandwich or filled roll. In military use in forms such as an "egg banjo" or a "chip banjo". 
  6. ^ The Official ARRSE Guide to the British Army Hardcover, 2011, Major Des Astor, ISBN 0593065611, p157
  7. ^ Egg Salad Sandwich (the only one I'll eat) Recipe - 101 Cookbooks

External links[edit]