The Town Of Sandwich Celebrates!
Fancy a PBJ or a grilled cheese or a ham and cheese? From Subways, to Quiznos and delicious mom-and-pop eateries, stores and supermarkets serve up these delicious sandwiches. Quick food on the go, or an appetizer or a tea-time snack, they are eaten at all times of the day, and in every country around the world. The word is even used in place of a verb - "to sandwich" means to squeeze in between two people or things.
But did you know, the ubiquitous sandwich has its humble origins in a gambling parlor in 18th century England! On Saturday May 12, the medieval town of Sandwich celebrated the 250th anniversary of the sandwich with a huge festival and sandwich-making competitions. They even re-enact the exact moment when the sandwich was born!
No sticky fingers, please..
As you can imagine, 18th century England was a time of proper etiquette and manners, especially among the nobility and royalty. John Montagu, an English nobleman and the 4th Earl of Sandwich was an impulsive gambler and a man with a fiery temper. He lived from 1718 to 1792.
As the legend goes... in one such game in 1762, when hunger took the better of him, Montagu asked the waiter to bring him a slice of beef between two slices of bread. He did not want his hands to get sticky, and he could eat while continuing his game of cards. His friends asked to "have the same as Sandwich" and the name caught on!
Apparently, the First Earl, Edward Montagu, originally intended to take the title of the Earl of Portsmouth —this was later changed to honor the town of Sandwich where he was commanding a fleet in 1660. Imagine if he had indeed taken the title of Portsmouth -- we may all be eating a Portsmouth now! Coincidentally, the current Earl of Sandwich is also named John Montagu.
Caesar Salad -- the Roman Emperor?
Contrary to popular belief, the Caesar salad was not named after Julius Caesar. It was, however, named after its creator, chef Caesar Cardini, who invented it on the Fourth of July, 1924, when his San Diego restaurant was low on food and he had to make do with what he had on hand.
The salad began appearing on California menus in the 1940s. The original Caesar Salad consisted of whole romaine lettuce leaves, eggs, croutons, Parmesan cheese, and Italian olive oil, with no anchovies. The Cardinis trademarked the Caesar salad name in 1948.
Did you know these are some other popular foods that owe their names to a person?
- Clementines -- the little oranges were named after Père Clément Rodier, a French monk living in North Africa at the beginning of the 20th century
- Graham crackers were named for Sylvester Graham, a 19th-century American Presbyterian minister
- Pizza Margherita was so named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, who was presented with this pizza in the colors of the Italian flag on a trip to Naples in 1889.
- Dr. Pepper was invented by pharmacist Charles Atherton in 1885 at a Waco, Texas drugstore owned by Wade Morrison. The drink is said to be named for Morrison's first employer, Charles T. Pepper, who owned a pharmacy in Virginia.