Sunday, June 7, 2009

That's LORD Sandwich to you!

Who doesn't love a good sandwich? They are so versatile that they can be customized for everyone. Unless someone doesn't like bread... In which case, that person is COMPLETELY CRAZY!

But have you ever stopped to wonder why it's called a sandwich?

Think about it. Unless you are a 1 year old kid playing in a sand box (litter box?), then you are unlikely to use sand in your food. The 1 year old may think the sand tastes pretty good, but we all know better from experience since we were all 1 at one point. Except for Athena. See, the 1 year is thrilled about the sand:So why sand? And why wich? What the heck is a "wich"... There's a which and a witch. But what is a wich? As with many things in the English language, it makes no sense. I really wanted to know, so I did a little research.

The general consensus is that the name "sandwich" came into being during the mid-1700s and is attributed to Englishman John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich:Apparently, Lord Sandwich was fond of playing cards. So fond, he didn't take the time to stop for food. Instead, he would request a slice of meat and cheese be brought to him between two slices of bread. That way, he could keep his fingers clean (remember, no utensils) and continue gambling away without ruining his cards. He did this so often, that it began to catch on throughout the gentlemen's gaming club. The other gentleman began requesting, "the same as Sandwich!" and the name stuck.There is actually a town called Sandwich in England. It's near the shore and the name means "sandy place" or "place of sand." Mmm. Sounds tasty.
Actually the Earl of Sandwich was originally intended to be the Earl of Portsmouth. Can you imagine asking for a peanut butter and jelly portsmouth? Yeah. Me neither. Hurray for Sandwich!

The Earl of Sandwich was in no way responsible for the invention of the sandwich. It's been around for centuries, maybe even milleniums, in one form or another. When you don't have utensils (or plates), bread is a wonderful thing! Yay, trenchers! However, the sandwich (supposedly) received its name as a result of a gambling addiction. Who knew?

(Warning, this post probably isn't historically accurate... Sources include Wikipedia and other untrusted websites...)

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