Handy food, best for those on the move, a sandwich is difficult to describe in a single sentence! It is now accepted as an everyday food item, couple of bread slices ( any variety) with one or more types of foods placed inside as fillings. To hold the foods inside, the bread slice are first layered with some spread that also adds flavour and a certain amount of moistness. Well, now sandwiches are extremely popular, you can have them for any meal, in any country! You will have an amazing variety to choose from. Easy to wrap up and move, a sandwich is excellent as packed lunch. Here are some interesting sandwich stories that take you well in the past and and then we follow it up with some excellent sandwich recipes for you to make at home!
The Club Sandwich - Well, this has some debates about its origins! Whatever may it be, the sandwich consists of mayonnaise, lettuce, thin slices of turkey breast, bacon and tomato slices on toasted white bread. There are of course many variations available now but the structure remains the same – high and mighty to look at!
Hero - Also knows as the sub. It is made with an oblong roll. The bottom half of the roll is covered with layers of various thinly sliced meats, cheeses, tomatoes, pickles, and lettuce. During World War II an Italian delicatessen in Connecticut got an order for 500 hero sandwiches from a nearby US Navy submarine base. From that day on any time a customer ordered a ‘hero’ sandwich the employees at the deli called it a ‘sub’!
Grilled Cheese- It was around the 1920s that commercially sliced bread and inexpensive American cheese hit the market. At first the sandwiches were served open faced and mainly broiled instead of grilled. The top bread slice made an entry much later.
BLT- Or the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich was probably nicknamed the BLT by waitresses who were busy serving more customers than they could handle at lunchtime! A short name that has remained till date! BLTs almost always come with mayonnaise and are served on toasted bread.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich - John Harvey Kellogg (of the cereal fame) was the creator of the peanut butter which was initially sold as only a health food bur later as the prices came down it was affordable by most families. About this same time, 1920s, the sliced bread was invented and children could make sandwiches with ease. With good nutrition and low price, peanut butter sandwiches with sweet jam or jelly became popular during Depression period.
Sloppy Joe - Created in a café in the early 90s in Iowa supposedly by a cook named Joe who mixed up ground beef, minced onions, green pepper and ketchup and served it on a hamburger bun.
The Monte Cristo - This is made with three slices of buttered white bread. The first slice is covered with lean baked ham and chicken, then the second slice is placed on the meat and covered with thinly sliced Swiss cheese. The third slice is placed on top of the cheese. The crusts are trimmed and cut in half before being dipped in light egg batter and fried on all sides until golden brown. A true Monte Cristo sandwich is served with currant jelly, strawberry jam or cranberry sauce.
French Dip- Less known but when you read the story you will love it. The French Dip sandwich was invented accidentally. The story goes that one day a police officer stopped by a delicatessen and ordered a beef sandwich prepared on a long white French roll. Supposedly, it was accidentally dropped into a pan in which meat had been cooked and became somewhat soggy with the juices. The policeman, being short of time, said he would eat the sandwich anyway. He liked it so much that he came back again and again, bringing his friends along for the sandwich dipped in meat juices.
Philadelphia Cheese Steak – Warm and comforting, this became popular in the 1930s. It was first made as thinly sliced beef sandwiches. For years people had to go to Philadelphia to get a true Philadelphia cheese steak sandwich because that was the only place to find the firm Italian rolls and thinly sliced beef. It is topped with slices of Spanish onion. Additional ingredients could be mushrooms, garlic, and green or red capsicums.