There seems to be a week for everything this month, and there is even a Sandwich week. 14th-20th May 2017. All thanks to the aristocrat John Montague the 4th Earl of Sandwich. (1718-1792) It was said he was a bit of a gambler and didn’t like to leave his gambling table to take supper, so he asked for his supper of meat to be served between two pieces of bread at the table so he wouldn’t smear grease on the cards and the game wouldn’t be interrupted! It is said he didn’t invent it but the name Sandwich has gone down in history and stuck. People liked the ease of them, being able to take food around, and carry to work whilst not getting messy hands.
I make them most days for the Bun family packed lunches, and get Son Bun to do his sometimes, and then he cannot complain he didn’t like his lunch, and in all my Mrs Bun the Baker toddler cooking classes we are also going to be making our own sandwiches. It may seem an easy task, but spreading butter, cutting cucumber, laying a cheese slice, squeezing some mayonnaise and then cutting it in half and into quarters are all great skills for their hand and eye coordination, as well as their fine motor skills. It is a lovely job for toddler to do, and for older ones to make their own sandwiches to take to school.
Sandwiches can be a bit of an art these days. One of my first jobs when doing my A ‘levels was making sandwiches for a local delicatessen. All the ingredients were laid out, but sneaky they were, you only laid cucumber or tomato down the middle of the sandwich so when you cut it in half it could be seen, there wasn’t any at the edge! Sandwich art. We had brown, white and granary bread to fill, but today the sandwich can be made with so many different breads and fillings; they can become a work of art. That during sandwich week they even have a sandwich Designer competition each year.
We have come a long way since a plain cheese and tomato sandwich; I had a lovely grilled Halloumi pitta sandwich the other day. There are so breads available today, take your pick on the number you can choose from. There is white, with or without crusts and 50:50, wholemeal, granary, pittas, wraps, flatbreads, rye, ciabatta, crusty rolls, pittas, the list seems endless.
Sandwiches come with all manner of names, how many of these have you tried?
BLT; Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato
Club Sandwich; Triple Decker stacked sandwich
Panini; Italian styled sandwich often toasted on Ciabatta bread
Monte Cristo; Fried ham and cheese sandwich
Open Sandwich; No lid!
But my favourite of all has to be a chip butty! Just as a treat now and then, as it reminds me of being a student and going out for a Sunday lunch at a pub meant a stacked chip butty with melted cheese sometimes!
Hopefully there is a sandwich for everyone, and enjoy your sandwiches with whatever you may put in the middle!
For fun facts and ideas for Sandwich week, visit www.britishsandwichweek.com