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August is National Sandwich Month

Who would think that the sandwich should have its own month dedicated to it? When you consider how long sandwiches have been around, the wide variety of sandwiches that exist and the fact that a significant portion of the world’s population (not to mention the USA) eats them at least once a day, why shouldn’t they? The word even has a verb form as to be sandwiched (placed or stuck) between two other items.

Most people may have heard that they were invented by the Earl of Sandwich in the 18th century England, but he only popularized them. People have been eating meats and cheeses and vegetables either between two slices of bread or rolled up in one large piece of bread, such as pita or a falafel or the large round flatbreads common in the Middle East for millenia.

Here is a website with a very brief history of ‘the sandwich’:

The sandwich has about as many cultural varieties and variations as there are ethnic groups in the world. Cities, at least in the United States, may be famous for a sandwich, such as Philadelphia and the Philly cheesesteak. Names for a particular type of sandwich can change from one region to the next. In this area of the country one usually hears the term ‘hoagie’, but the same type of sandwich on a long roll and stuffed with meats, cheeses and vegetables are also referred to as subs, submarine sandwiches, heroes or Dagwoods.

Most Americans think of the ‘typical’ American sandwich, but some others to consider are the elegant tea sandwiches served at a traditional British afternoon tea. BBC Good Food explains how to throw an afternoon tea party, complete with sandwich recipes. How to throw an afternoon tea party - BBC Good Food


There are a wide variety of books on sandwiches and how to make great ones, including materials for children, available at the Mercer County Library. Here is a rather lengthy list which you can peruse of shorten by the search limiters on the left.

I only briefly mentioned Middle Eastern sandwiches, which are in a class by themselves. Here are the top 10 Middle Eastern Sandwich recipes from The Spruce Eats.

On a final note of interest, I read that there is a type of hard crusted bread made in the Middle East that resembles a stone or rock. Some Biblical scholars think that the story where Jesus was being tempted by Satan to turn the stones into bread, was because they looked so much alike.

Enjoy your next sandwich!

- by Gary Calderone, Ewing Branch

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