National Sandwich Day is observed annually on November 3. The sandwich is believed to be the namesake of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, following the claim that he was the inventor of the sandwich. This day honors one of America’s most popular lunch items.
While the modern sandwich is believed to be named after John Montagu, the exact circumstances of its invention and original use are the subject of debate. There is a rumor in a contemporary travel book titled Tour to London,by Pierre Jean Grosley, that formed the popular myth that bread and meat sustained Lord Sandwich at the gambling table. It is said that Lord Sandwich was a very conversant gambler and did not take the time to have a meal during his long hours playing at the card table. When hungry, he would ask his servants to bring him slices of meat between two slices of bread. This practice was a habit which was well known to his gambling friends who soon began to order “the same as Sandwich,” and from this, the sandwich was born.
N.A.M. Rodger, who wrote Sandwich’s biography, suggests that because of Sandwich’s commitment to the navy, politics and the arts the first sandwich was more likely to have been consumed at his work desk.
Before being known as sandwiches, the food seems just to have been known as bread and meat or bread and cheese.
Some of the most common sandwiches include BLT – Cheese Sandwich – Philadelphia Cheesesteak – Club Sandwich – Dagwood – French Dip – Hamburger – Monte Cristo – Muffuletta – Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich – Pilgrim – Po’boy – Reuben – Sloppy Joe – Submarine – Tuna Fish Sandwich – Veggie Sandwich – Deli Sandwich
Today’s Food History
- 1633 Bernardino Ramazzini was born. An Italian physician, he was the first to note the relationship between worker’s illnesses and their work environment. Considered the founder of occupational medicine.
- 1718 John Montague, 4th Earl of Sandwich was born. (Some sources list November 13). Captain Cook named the Sandwich Islands after him (now known as Hawaii). The Earl is supposed to have invented the sandwich as a quick meal so as not to interrupt his gambling sessions.
- 1832 Sir John Leslie died. A Scottish physicist and mathematician, he was the first to create ice artificially (freeze water artificially). He used an air pump apparatus.
- 1841 Johannes Eugenius Bulow Warming was born. A Danish botanist, he was one of the founders of the science of plant ecology.
- 1863 J.T. Alden was issued a patent for an improved method of manufacturing dried yeast.
- 1893 Edward A. Doisy was born. He discovered vitamin K.
- 1895 The town of Walcott, Minnesota is destroyed by a fire that begins in a flour mill.
- 1952 Frozen peas are added to the list of frozen vegetables produced by Birdseye.
- 1966 Ingredients are required to be listed on food packages. The first truth in packaging law.