Sandwich celebrates its 250th anniversary

May 14, 2012, 14:12 IST | A Correspondent

On the world's most popular snack's birthday, we look at its origins and present some known and unknown facts

The man behind the snack
John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, is said to be the man after whom the sandwich was named, 250 years back

When he ordered beef served between slices of bread about 250 years ago he probably did not think his request would become a global convenience meal.

The story goes that the Earl asked for the particular serving so that he could eat while continuing to play cards and his friends asked “to have the same as Sandwich”, according to the British Sandwich Association.

The first written record of the sandwich was in 1762 and the Kent town of Sandwich, which is the earldom of the Montagu family, is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the meal.

Montagu, a prominent naval commander, became the first Earl of Sandwich when he was offered a peerage in 1660.

Steve Laslett, one of the organisers of the Sandwich Celebration Festival, said Montagu chose the title because “at the time Sandwich was the premier sea port in England”.

“He was a daring man to eat in such a way coming from his social background,” Foodsmith Sam Bompas said.

A tradition
Over the weekend the east Kent town hosts sandwich-making competitions and re-enactments of the moment the fourth Earl of Sandwich asked for the food in bread.

Sandwich Celebration Festival organiser Mandy Wilkins said that it had had interest from around the world, including America, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, France and Russia.

“The sandwich is a global food and Sandwich, our town, is just a little town full of medieval buildings,” Wilkins said.

“It’s bizarre that such an important food item should be named after us,” Wilkins said.

On Sunday the 11th Earl of Sandwich, who shares his name with the fourth Earl after which the sandwich is said to be named, hosts a lunch in Sandwich.

“I am delighted to wish a happy 250th birthday to the sandwich,” John Montagu said.

It tells you who you are: Choice of sandwich filling could provide an interesting insight into our characters, the study revealed.

Dr Elizabeth Jones and colleagues identified eight ‘Key Sandwich Personalities’ after interviewing 2,000 people.

Those who enjoyed cheese and pickle were more likely to have a high IQ, while people who like BLT on seeded bread are considered opportunists.

Ham salad on white bread signified a ‘forward thinker’, beef rolls are chosen by impulsive people and egg mayo by quiet ‘home bodies.’

High flyers were more likely to go for a classic tuna and sweetcorn, while sensitive souls preferred prawns on brown bread and extroverts chose chicken salad wraps.

The best sandwich in the world: A sandwich, made with a little kunyit (turmeric) by a Malaysian chef, was named Best Sandwich in the World at a competition in France. Darren Chin, 32, prepared a sandwich of pork combined with herbs and spices and decorated it with vegetables.

Bacon sandwich is the best cure for hangover: Are last night’s festivities making your head pound, stomach queasy and skin a deathly shade of grey? Well, then go ahead and grab a big, fat bacon sandwich to save your life, say scientists.

The yummy grub has always been a popular cure for a hangover, and now scientists have come up with proof to claim that it really works.

Largest sandwich ever made: A 46 metres long sarnie has entered into the running for the largest sandwich ever made.

The super-sub was prepared by as many as 150 cooks in Mexico City and weighed 750 kilograms.

Interestingly, they took only 6 minutes and 20 seconds to make the sandwich. 

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