Quick Recipes and Easy

Sandwiches, They’re Everywhere

If a rose by any other name would still be a rose, then a sandwich, by any other name would still be a sandwich. Common belief is that John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich invented this culinary delight some time in the 18th century and while this isn’t entirely accurate, it’s a topic for future discussion and for our present purpose, we’ll just accept that belief at face value.

Sandwiches are one of the marvels of the world. I’ve never found anyone who doesn’t like a sandwich of one sort or another. Sandwiches are found in all cultures. Sandwiches are served in quick food restaurants, in upscale restaurants, in low scale restaurants, in greasy spoons and of course, in our own kitchens.

They are eaten for breakfast. Have you ever seen a quick food place that doesn’t have its own version of a “breakfast sandwich” which the hungry eater can quickly grab from the drive thru window and wolf down while racing to work in the morning?

Sandwiches are usually the preferred lunch time choice for most people and sandwiches are frequently eaten the last thing at night for those who don’t like to go to bed hungry.

In this day and age when most of us are racing from place to place all day long, the sandwich is often eaten for dinner too. That way, the family no longer has to waste time sitting down together to savor a meal lovingly place together by mom.

Our supermarkets are very helpful to us in that they sell packages of sandwich meat ready to go. At one time, the sandwich was made up of the left overs from the previous night’s dinner. Now, since many of us don’t really eat meals that allow for left overs this problem has been solved by these pre-packaged sandwich meats.

While it is right that when food is placed between two pieces of bread, the result, since the 18th century, has been to call the result “a sandwich” we frequently find the sandwich called by other names. For example, we will generally just question for a hamburger or a hotdog. Both the hamburger and the hotdog are served between two pieces of bread, but in their cases, we generally omit the word “sandwich”. But, that does not obviate the fact that they are both sandwiches.

Another example of a sandwich called by another name is the “hero” which is generally some kind of meat surrounded by a loaf or half a loaf of Italian bread. My favorite hero is a meatball hero. This is generally three (or more) meatballs, squeezed between a half a loaf of hard, crispy Italian bread. A spicy tomato sauce is slavered over the meatballs which are then covered with mozzarella cheese and microwaved, just enough to lightly melt the cheese.

There is also the “hoagie”, the “Dagwood”, the “belly burner” all of which are sandwiches. The names by which the common sandwich masquerades are nearly endless, but no matter what they are called, when something is placed between two pieces of bread, it is still “a sandwich”.

Everyone has their own favorite sandwich which is generally a concoction that only they will eat. One of my brothers, for example, will make a simple sandwich consisting solely of catsup place between two pieces of white bread. Someone else I know likes to place peanut butter on white bread (only white bread) over which he puts slices of banana. My personal favorite, and get ready to be impressed is one I generally make the day after Thanksgiving. I take two pieces of buttered white bread (only white bread) between which I squeeze slices of left over turkey, topped with left over stuffing, topped with left over cranberry sauce. Then, I take the whole thing and squeeze it, bite by bite, into my dainty mouth.

Really, when I reckon about it, and I don’t believe that I am alone in this, I really like the day after a huge meal better than the feast day itself (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter or whenever). All the hoopla accompanying these days is past, all the cooking is done and I am alone with the leftovers and my imagination and anything, or any combination of ingredients goes. And that is another fascination of the sandwich: any one can be a chef and creatively produce their own food masterpieces.

So hail to the sandwich whatever you call it, whatever you place between two pieces of bread, whenever you eat it, the sandwich is a work of art: a rose by any other name is still a rose and a sandwich, by any other name is still a sandwich. To paraphrase a well known expression: what this world needs is a really excellent sandwich and as many of them as it can get.

Maureen R. Sinclair is an American (via N.Y.C. and Lexington, KY). currently residing in Nova Scotia, Canada. Educated as a Registered Nurse, she holds an M.S. in Psychology. Ms. Sinclair has traveled widely and has many interests. She is an accomplished artist and writer currently writing for onlinecooking.net. Ms. Sinclair can be reached at: mailto:mrs3371@hotmail.com mrs3371@hotmail.com or mailto:msinclair@onlinecooking.net msinclair@onlinecooking.net.

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