Sandwiches are some of the best food ever. They make the perfect meal. They can be eaten at any time of day. They are portable, if necessary. And there are so many combinations!
They have been around, sandwiches that is, basically forever. Which is really awesome because I would hate to think of a world that exists without sandwiches. Wouldn’t that be miserable? It wasn’t until my pal John Montagu, an aristocrat from the eighteenth century, that the fabulous food got its name though. (Okay, I wasn’t really friends with Montagu. But I wish I had been!) Imagine if they had been named “johns” or “montagus” instead?
“What do you want for lunch?”
“A hummus and vegetable monatgu, please!”
“Lucy, have you tried the turkey and cheese john? It’s delicious.”
“No, I hate johns. I want the soup and salad.”
But good ol’ John Montagu became the fourth Earl of Sandwich, when he was only ten years old, after his grandfather (the third Earl of Sandwich) died. Many years later, he was playing at a gambling table and refused to leave for twenty-four hours. Rather than starve or get up from the table, he requested roast-beef with a slice of bread on each side, so his hands wouldn’t get greasy and he could keep playing cards. Everyone thought he was basically a genius and started saying they wanted “the same as Sandwich,” because apparently it was too hard to say “I want this meat with bread on each side” and apparently that was Montagu’s nickname. Thus, the sandwich was born.
I was thinking about all of this the other day, and I had a strange thought: What if, one day, I am told that I can eat only sandwiches for the rest of my life? You know, because the world is about to implode and only those really scary deep-deep-deep-sea creatures will survive and in order to save all of humanity, I must make this sacrifice. So I thought about it, because I want to be prepared if this ever happens. If I am ever in some ultimatum situations and someone says I can eat only sandwiches for the rest of my life (and to make my matters worse, I can pick only three types), these would be my choices:
- Cran-Brie Apple: Layer brie (without the white rind, so it will melt easily), cranberry sauce (I prefer my mom’s homemade, but any kind will do), a few slices of granny smith apple, and fresh baby spinach on panini bread. Grill on a panini press (or in a sauté pan with butter or coconut oil) until bread is crispy and cheese is melty.
- Avocado Cheddar: Spread mayonnaise on each slice of wheat bread. Layer slices of fresh avocado and tomato with extra sharp aged Vermont cheddar (Cabot is my favorite).
- Hot Chicken Sandwich: Layer mayonnaise, shredded cheese, hot breaded chicken, tomato, and cucumber on a baguette. I also suggest wrapping it in foil and letting it sit for a few minutes so the cheese gets slightly melty. (This is inspired by all of the hot chicken sandwiches I ate from the Plaza Café at the University of Limerick. Huge shoutout to Meggan for introducing me to this beauty.)
Quick! Our planet’s rotation changes, fire ants grow to twelve feet long, and lava is seeping out of the ground. The only way to save the earth and all of its people from these horrors is to pick three sandwiches to eat for the rest of your life. What are they?