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How Sandwiches Appeared

Updated June 9, 2022
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How Sandwiches Appeared essay

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The sandwich is one of the gastronomic peculiarities of contemporary times. According to the English Cambridge Dictionary, the gastronomic term refers to relating the practice of cooking or eating good food in general (English Cambridge Dictionary). The culinary arts have been adapting with the times, including the perception of it. People have less little time available, even when it comes to eat dinner. The gastronomic response to our times is the famous ‘fast-food’.The large chains specializing in this type of food generate millions of dollars due to the high demand for it. The sandwich is considered a perfect example of basic food that these large chains produce; however, the concept of sandwiches is not as recent as people think. As a matter of fact, the history of sandwiches goes back a few centuries (Butler).

The first rumors that people have of a kind of food similar to what they now call sandwich, come from Jewish lands. Apparently, Hillel ‘The Elder’, one of the most important Jewish leaders, invented a new food, back in the first century of that era. It was prepared with matzoh (an unleavened bread) and filled with a kind of chutney called charoset, made with nuts, apples and wine. The preparation was finished with bitter herbs. Today radish is used, which is not grass but is bitter (Butler).

In the Middle Ages, large slices of bread were used that simulated a dish to eat. All the fat, juice and spices and other fluids of the various delicacies, wet the slice of bread. In the humblest houses the bread was the last dish that was eaten and if it was left over, the dogs were fed or the poor and needy (Butler).

The most direct European record of the dish comes from the British Isles. The English used to eat what they called “bread and cheese” and “bread and meat”. There are many references to this food. Even in Shakespeare’s work ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’, ‘bread and cheese’ is referred to. Curiously, this delicacy was intended for the poorer classes of English society (Butler).

Although sandwiches are simply made, the story behind the name “sandwich” is not so simple. In fact, the term comes again from England and is related to diplomatic plots (Butler). The fourth count Sandwich John Montagu, was present in Aachen, the city where the treaty was signed that put an end to the War of Austrian Succession (Butler). The English integrated the delegation representative of the Empress Maria Teresa (Butler). Established in Aachen, the aristocrat interspersed diplomacy and fun, spending several hours sitting playing cards (Butler). John Montagu’s gambling addiction forced his assistants to prepare a quick and simple foods to eat so that the Count could satisfy his alimentary needs with the minimum effort, in order to avoid being distracted from his playful activities (Butler). The invention of the sandwich pleased the Count and became a habit. It began to become extremely popular this dish, and popularized the phrase ‘put me the same as (the count of) Sandwich’ and in this way, the term ‘sandwich’ was consolidated as the name of this food (Butler).

According to Bennett, there are multiple factors of improvement that could help a sandwich be less boring and more fascinating to people. Hervé This, a French physical chemist who specializes in molecular gastronomy, states that ‘the more you have to chew each bite, and the more flavor you get, the less you need to eat to feel satisfied’ (qtd. In Bennett). The addition of some fresh herbs increases the number of times a person has to chew each bite, which improves the experience of eating a sandwich (Bennett).

The specialists preferred the sandwiches that had ingredients with pronounced odor – like smoked salmon or strong cheeses – placed at the bottom, under any other type of fillings or salads (Bennett). The upper layers prevented strong odors from entering the nostrils through the roof of the mouth, which would have contaminated the flavor of the sandwich (Bennett).

For a better understanding, Bennett explains that a thin layer of butter applied to the bread creates a hydrophobic barrier that prevents the sandwich from absorbing moisture (Bennett). This allows to keep most of the sandwiches that are wrapped in boxes in supermarkets in an optimal state, since it prevents the sandwiches from getting soaked (Bennett). However, the humidity of a sauce or a spreadable substance or condiment is essential because it helps to bring the taste of the compounds through your saliva to your papillae, the taste centers of your mouth (Bennett).

Bennett also recommends that applying a little heat can help improve the taste of an ordinary sandwich. The heat encourages the essential oils in the ingredients bringing most of the flavor to the air, which means that you will appreciate the experience more thanks to your nasal canals (Bennett).

From it’s humble origins in Aachen, the sandwich has been transformed into what it is today, a practical, fast and appetizing food (Butler). Over the years and with the consolidation of the industrial lifestyle, the need for an easy-to-make food that was also nutritious was resolved with this food (Butler). In this way, the sandwich is considered today as an irreplaceable food in the lives of millions of human beings (Butler).

A well-prepared sandwich has the right elements for a balanced diet. The bread portion of the sandwich is “naturally low in sugar and fat” while also being a source of many nutrients such as “dietary fiber, minerals and iron” (Frey). Optimally, if the bread of a sandwich is made ‘without artificial preservatives and made with natural ingredients”, that is ideal (Frey). Proteins are molecules that our cells require to function properly. Muscles, skin, bones and other parts of the human body contain protein. This is where chicken, turkey and fish can be a great option for the sandwich. When we prepare a sandwich, we generally use some vegetables such as lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers, spinach, etc. These vegetables provide a variety of vitamins such as A, B, C and B2, as well as antioxidants and high fiber content, which are essential for our body.

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How Sandwiches Appeared. (2022, Jun 09). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/how-sandwiches-appeared/

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