The Sandwich

The evolution of the sandwich in all of its glory.

The evolution of the sandwich in all of its glory.

Cooper Nelson, Staff Writer

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Had the sandwich not been invented, the world may be nothing like we know it today.  The sandwich is one of the most versatile and multifaceted food items known to man.  Merriam Webster defines sandwich as “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between.”  With this vague definition, the possibilities for the sandwich are nearly unlimited.  Sandwiches can be a fitting meal for any time of day, breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The sandwich was first conceived in England in the year 1762.  The genius accredited with this amazing feat of engineering was John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich.  According to food historians, Montague suffered from a gambling addiction which led to him spending hours on end at the card table.  As Montague played, his appetite grew; he then asked his house cook to bring him something to eat so that he did not have to leave the table.  His meal of choice? Meat and bread, and so the sandwich was born.

Today, an estimated 300 million sandwiches are consumed in America.  In 2014, Menu research firm Datassential surveyed thousands of consumers to find out the most popular sandwiches in America.  Their results were shocking.  In the lead was turkey, followed by ham, then chicken in third.  Two other common favorites PB&J (Rank 6) and BLT’s (Rank 7) were seeded surprisingly low based on the data.  According to the website, Jersey Mikes is the leading sandwich restaurant highly touted for their sub sandwiches.  Firehouse Subs and Jimmy Johns hold down the two and three spots on the list.

The future for sandwiches is bright.  We have yet to see their full potential.  One can only speculate what Earth-shattering combinations of breads, meats, cheeses, veggies, and sauces are yet to come.  Sandwich enthusiast Sean Cunningham had this to say, “A good hoagie can start the day off right.” It is this kind of youth and energy that keeps the sandwich community alive and well.