Book Reviews

Sandwich – A Global History.

While many people dream and reminisce about their gastronomic experiences, some even write voluminous books, most, at least in English speaking countries, eat sandwiches more frequently than complete meals of any sort.

Sandwich eating is not confined to English speaking countries alone these days. The French, generally considered to be gourmet, have taken to sandwiches with a vengeance, as do Middle Eastern countries, albeit in these jurisdictions, the sandwich takes the form of a “wrap” (in flat bread more in tune with their eating habits). Sandwich was invented by John Montague, fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718 – 1792) in 1765 who, too busy to formally sit down to have dinner, requested a few slices of roast beef between two slices of bread.

The author asserts that some form of sandwich must have existed somewhere in

the world, but the good Earl’s idea was well recorded, and as we know it, spread rapidly throughout the kingdom.

There us an oft cited story about the earl’s gambling habit and where he asked fort eh sandwich, but according to historian N.A.M. Rodger, it is incorrect.

The Earl of Montague was a busy politician, who served as the First Lord of the Admiralty twice, and once as Postmaster General, and twice as Secretary of State.

Bee Wilson explores in detail how the sandwich captured the imagination of millions and spread throughout the Kingdom, the U.S.A., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

The story is fascinating to this day. The sandwich itself changes annually with new inventions and forms.

One thing Bee Wilson makes clear is the “open face” sandwich of Denmark, pretty and appetizing though it may be, it is not a sandwich.

A sandwich must have a “cover”, but it may have more than one layer as is the case with the club sandwich invented in the U.S.A and which is quite popular in all its versions.

The author also explores various famous sandwiches chronologically listing 50 of them starting in 1824 through to 2007.

Do you know how many billion sandwiches are consumed annually in the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom? It is recorded in this fascinating book.

Get it, read it, know how it all started and how you can invent your very own!

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