What does your favorite say about you? Could it be a touchstone for regional identity? Is it a source of foodie comfort? We ponder these questions because November 3 is one of our tastiest holidays. Pull out the plates, reach for some napkins, and join us in celebrating Sandwich Day.
The simple meal’s 1762 debut is a familiar story. An English earl by the name of Sandwich directed his servant to slap some meat between two pieces of bread and serve him during a hot and heavy card game. Was his off-the-cuff order really an original?
Food historians suspect that the Earl of Sandwich had already been there and eaten that. He couldn’t have missed Greek and Turkish pita bread gyros during his frequent travels through eastern Mediterranean countries.
We’ll give the Earl credit for unconsciously creating a culinary tradition that migrated around the world. By the 1800s, our young nation was collectively chowing down on buttered bread layered with cheese, small loaves stuffed with poached oysters and sliced biscuits and ham.
We can credit our forefathers with our love for spicy po’boys, foot-long subs and Philly cheesesteaks. Let’s morph that admiration into our own Sandwich Day celebrations. Break out the mustard and mayo. Slice up challah, ciabatta and sourdough. Layer bread with bacon and peanut butter, macaroni and cheese or salami and hot capicola.
Hear the call of the kitchen right now? We understand. November 3 only comes around once a year. Grilled vegetables, cold cuts, hot barbecue and spicy shrimp are ready to take their place in newly christened classic recipes. There are muffulettas and Reubens waiting to be made, shared and savored.
Before we dig in, let us pause for a moment, put down our plates, grab our napkins, wipe our chins – then raise our bread knives high in salute as we relish the delicious glory of Sandwich Day.
Now, let’s eat!