Bee Wilson unravels the mystery of how the Fourth Earl of Sandwich could have ‘invented’ this most elementary way of eating, as well as describing sandwiches around the world, from the decadent meatball hoagie to the dainty cucumber sandwich.
We may talk of grand feasts and fancy dinners, but most of the time, if we are honest, most of us are eating sandwiches. We snatch them at work and linger over them at picnics, buffets or tea parties. The sandwich is quick, simple and open to infinite variety and inventiveness.
Though sandwiches are a near-universal food, their origin can be traced to a precise historical figure: John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, who, one night before 1762, was too busy to stop for dinner and asked for some cold beef to be brought to him between two slices of bread. Sandwich unravels the mystery of how the Earl could have ‘invented’ this most elementary and appealing way of eating. What were sandwiches like before the eighteenth-century ‘sandwich’ came into being? Why did the name stick? And how did the Earl’s invention take off so quickly around the globe?
This book brings together a wealth of material to trace how the sandwich has evolved throughout time and around the world. From the decadent meatball hoagie to the dainty cucumber sandwich, and from the Argentinian choripán to the Vietnamese Bánh mì, the sandwich is loved the world over.