(WYTV) – Americans eat more than 300 million sandwiches. Tt can be simple, it can be elaborate and we can carry it with us.
It’s the perfect food, but Americans didn’t always take to it.
We once saw the sandwich as a reminder of our colonial days, under British rule, no thank you. The sandwich as we know it became popular first in England in 1762.
John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, spent many hours at the gambling table and didn’t care to leave to enjoy lunch. He asked the house cook to bring him a slice of meat on a slice of bread, something he could munch on without getting up from his seat.
Montagu ate it constantly, it grew popular in London society circles it also took on the Earl’s name.
But Montagu most likely got the idea from traveling to the Mediterranean, where the Turks and Greeks ate meats “sandwiched” between and on layers of bread.
The first mention in an American cookbook appeared in 1815. It was a British invention and we were tired of the Brits.
But later, we took to the sandwich and the most popular version had no ham or turkey but tongue.
And how was the Reuben sandwich born? In a New York deli?
One theory says it came from a Lithuanian born grocer named Reuben Kulakofsky in Omaha, Nebraska in the 1920’s.
A hotel owner put it on his dinner menu. It later won a nationwide recipe contest.