If John Montagu had a nickel for every sandwich consumed since his title became the eponym for the delectable and ingenious food invention, well, he probably would have spent them all at the card table. The Fourth Earl of Sandwich, who was fond of gambling, received the name and fame for the invention of the sandwich, but there are a lot of theories about where the first ones were actually consumed.
Many cultures have some form of meat and vegetables shoved between two slices of bread or bundled up in flatbread. From the Greek gyro to the Jewish Hillel to the Middle-Eastern falafel to the Philly cheese-steak sub, restaurants around the planet include some form of this favorite entrée with their own signature spin.
Regardless of its historical roots, the sandwich is both a brilliant and simple culinary creation, being both versatile and practical — and delicious to boot. Sandwiches are convenient, without the need for silverware, and are perfect for people on the job (like my own busy farmer who likes to keep one hand on the tractor’s steering wheel while he consumes his fodder), the forgetful kid in the lunchroom (who may or may not have thrown a few of mom’s spoons in the cafeteria waste can... whoops!), or the mom trying to keep that picnic basket light, easy, and tasty.
The sandwich can be prim and fancy (think dainty English tea sandwiches) or thick and hearty (check out our Pulled Pork Sandwich With Portabella Mushrooms). It can include many or all of the food groups, and it’s a great way to use up leftovers or a bumper crop of fresh tomatoes from the garden. There are scrumptious sandwich options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You could eat sandwiches all day if you really wanted to!
The versatility of texture, taste, and ingredients that make up the conglomeration of sandwich options are seemingly endless: soft or crispy, hot or cold, meat or vegetable, and a plethora of condiments and spreads. And, of course, the bread that holds it all together — homemade or fresh from the bakery, flatbread or wrap, whole grain or sourdough, hot and toasted or soft and fluffy. And not to be left out of the sandwich circle, there are myriad options for those avoiding certain foods like bread or meat. The countless ways you can combine all these ingredients means your taste buds never have to be bored.
So which sandwich will you choose? Here are a few recipes to get you started.
• Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipe
• Gyro Sandwich With Tzatziki Sauce
• Meatloaf Sandwich Recipe With Tomato-Pineapple Dressing
• Pulled Pork Sandwich With Portabella Mushrooms
• Salmon Salad Recipe
• Breakfast Sandwich Recipe
Ashten Swartz lives on a small farm with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys cooking with fresh ingredients from her garden.