The Humble Sandwich Was Actually Named After A Real Person

double decker sandwich
double decker sandwich - Marko Jan/Getty Images

No matter which part of the world you live in, chances are you've grabbed a sandwich for a quick and fulfilling meal throughout the week. Sandwiches can be made in a jiffy by assembling your favorite ingredients between two slices of bread or elevated with some well-thought-out sandwich-making hacks. Some sandwich recipes are even worthy of the dinner table! But did you know this humble dish is named after a real person? That's right. John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, gave this concoction of meat and bread its original name.

Historians and food writers are divided on one important fact: Was he the original inventor of the dish? Some people believe this isn't the case and that his name is connected to the dish because he is the one whose legendary story popularized it. Whatever the case may be, the one thing we know for sure is that this dish is age-old and will continue to remain popular in times to come.

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How The Earl Of Sandwich Gave His Name To This Dish

grilled sandwiches on cutting board
grilled sandwiches on cutting board - Camfine/Shutterstock

The popular story captured in the travelogue of a famous French writer of the time, Pierre Jean-Grosley, was that Montagu was an inveterate gambler. One day, while he was engrossed in a play that had dragged on for hours, he had no time to eat a proper meal. The story goes that Montagu ordered the kitchen to serve him something that didn't require cutlery. It's unclear if the kitchen staff included meat between bread per their initiative or if he specifically requested that combination. However, this was brought to him, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Very soon after, the word "sandwich" was recorded in the diary of Edward Gibbon, an English historian, who spoke of it as a popular dish for supper among the well-heeled society folk of London. Perhaps it was Montagu who introduced the dish to his peers? Some believe that Montagu initially tried it during his travels to Turkey and the Ottoman Empire, where bread stuffed with a filling was a well-established meal. If that's the case, the dish's origins are more accurately credited to this part of the world.

How The Sandwich Evolved

open-faced avocado egg sandwich
open-faced avocado egg sandwich - Olga Bombologna/Shutterstock

Whatever the origin story of the sandwich may be, what's more interesting is how it caught everyone's fancy across the world. Once it was popularized in London society, the rest of Europe soon followed, and the first recipe was shared in a cookbook in 1773.

By the late 1800s, the sandwich had appeared in America, and around the turn of the 20th century, it was gaining popularity. However, it became a lunch staple once the slicing and packaging bread method was patented. This allowed for the sandwich to be assembled very quickly and conveniently. Creativity was sparked, and many different types of sandwiches, such as sloppy joes, subs, and po'boys, became popular around the country.

The rest of the world continued to play around with the basic concept of meat and bread, producing some delicious and unique results. Britain makes thin sandwiches with delicate fillings like cucumber and watercress; those from Scandinavia are usually served open-faced, and in France, the fillings are put into a hollowed-out roll.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.