British Sandwich Week 2018 - The History of Sandwiches

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With next week signalling the start of British Sandwich Week 2018, which runs from Sunday 20th May to Saturday 26th of May. We thought we'd look at the history of sandwiches and go through some sandwich examples using our bread. 

Before the traditional sandwich with a filling in-between two slices of bread, the Dutch had the first early example of a sandwich like product. This was bread and butter with cured beef on top and was served in pubs throughout the early 17th century.

It is said the traditional sandwiches we know today, were invented in 1762 by John Montagu, who at the time was the Earl of Sandwich. Many food historians state that the Earl suffered from a gambling addiction and would play cards for hours on end. During one game he did not want to stop playing and so asked a waiter to bring him meat in between two slices of bread so that he could eat it at the card table. The alternative version of this story, written in his biography suggests that Sandwich's commitments to politics, the navy and art meant that he could not leave his desk for lunch and so needed something he could eat whilst working. After this people began asking for " what sandwich has" which in time was shortened to just "a sandwich." The first mention of the word 'sandwich' in a recipe book came in 1773 in a book called "The Lady's Assistant for Regulating and Supplying the Table" written by Charlotte Mason.

The popularity of sandwiches soared after the invention of sliced bread in 1928, meaning that it was quicker, simpler and easier to make.

The first pre-packed ready-made sandwiches were sold in the UK in 1980, when a well known British retailer wrapped up some left-over sandwiches from its Marble Arch store café rather than wasting them. This suited the busy on the go life of many London workers. Nowadays it is estimated that the sandwich industry is worth £8 billion in the UK alone and employs over 300,000 people.  

We’ve created two sandwiches; the first is a classic cheese and ham sandwich which in a 2016 survey, was voted the UKs favourite sandwich, with 35.05% of Brits choosing this classic. This has been created using honey roasted ham and Swiss cheese on our very own traditional soft multi seed bloomer.

The next is an Italian inspired sandwich with a rocket, spinach, watercress and mozzarella filling on our Italian sundried tomato focaccia bread.  

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