Friday, 11 May 2012

250 years of The Sandwich

John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich
Ok this is another blog post about food but it's a notable anniversary LOL!

This year is the 250th Anniversary of The Sandwich.  It all started in 1762 when, as legend goes, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich and an ardent gambler, refused to break from his games to dine formally. Instead he called for his manservant to bring him slabs of beef between hunks of bread so that he might eat it while continuing to play cards. 

His gambling friends soon adopted the same habit, and when the Earl ordered his snack, they would shout 'The same as Sandwich!', and thus, the story goes, the sandwich was born.

An alternative but less colourful version is expounded in the Earl of Sandwich's biography, by N.A.M. Rodger. He suggests that Sandwich, a hardworking member of the military who was heavily involved with the political world and the arts, is more likely to have eaten the sandwiches at his desk. 

Whatever the truth, the 4th Earl of Sandwich sparked a trend that continues to the present day, generating an industry that employs 300,000 people in the UK with a commercial value of over £6 billion.
Today Britons munch their way through 11.5 billion sandwiches per year (!!), half of which are made at home.
British Sandwich Week starts tomorrow 12th May.  Visit The British Sandwich Assocation (yes, there is one!) at for more information and the website for Sandwich, in Kent, where special celebrations to mark the 250th anniversary are taking place this weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment