The Strathspey Sandwich

Sandwich Day

Nov 3

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

“A man's social rank is determined by the amount of bread he eats in a sandwich.”

~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned, 1922

The sandwich as we know it was popularized in England in 1762 by John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. whose substantial gambling problem required him to spend hours on end at the card table. During one particularly long binge, he asked the house cook to bring him something he could eat without getting up from his seat, and the modern sandwich was born! By the Revolutionary War, the sandwich had become popular and well established in England, but did not appear as an entry in an American cookbook until 1815. Despite its aristocratic origins, the social credit of sandwiches has waxed and waned, from an elegant ladies' luncheon offering in the 1890s to the standard fare of a working man's lunchbox in the 1920s. And if the amount of bread used wasn't controversial enough, there are ongoing sandwich wars in the food industry! While the dictionary defines sandwich as a "an item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with meat, cheese, or other filling between them," when it comes to regions and taxation, this definition becomes problematic. In California, a hot dog is officially considered a sandwich, while in Massachusetts, a burrito is definitely NOT a sandwich, although it is a "sandwich-like product." And in New York, certain sandwiches are taxable while others are not. Open-face sandwiches, anyone? 🥪

The Strathspey Sandwich

November 3rd is Sandwich Day!

The sandwich is the namesake food creation of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, an 18th century English aristocrat who allegedly ordered his valet to bring him meat tucked between two pieces of bread, and others began to order "the same as Sandwich!" It is commonly said that Lord Sandwich was fond of this form of food because it allowed him to continue playing cards, particularly cribbage, while eating, without using a fork, and without getting his cards greasy from eating meat with his bare hands.


Lord Sandwich was a great supporter of Captain James Cook.  As First Lord of the Admiralty, Sandwich approved funds for Cook’s second and third expeditions in the Pacific Ocean. In honour of Sandwich, Captain Cook named the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) after him, as well as Montague Island off the south east coast of Australia, the South Sandwich Islands in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, and Montague Island in the Gulf of Alaska.

Instead of a corresponding recipe, we have a visually stunning set of 50 favorite sandwiches, sumptuously titled, "THESE ARE THE 50 GREATEST SANDWICHES EVER KNOWN TO MAN." Click the portrait of the Earl of Sandwich to scroll through a stunning array of sandwich pictures. Your favorite is bound to be included.

The Strathspey Sandwich
The Strathspey Sandwich

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