Herald and Journal Herald & Journal, June 15, 1998

Long live the sandwich


There are several methods of nourishing ourselves, but obviously, the sandwich is most popular.

Two pieces of bread, with something in between is the way of life for most of us at most meals. It's quick, convenient and usually nutritious. Without a doubt, the most popular sandwich is the one with a slab of ground beef between two slices of bread or a bun. This is, of course, the ever popular hamburger. Add a slice of cheese, it's a cheeseburger.

The whole fast food industry is built around a sandwich. There are many sandwich fillings. Perhaps the most popular sandwich made at home is the peanut butter and jelly, or peanut butter alone or jelly alone.

Sandwiches were fairly new 100 years ago. I found the following in a 100 year-old newspaper:

"Fashion has approved of the sandwich . . . probably because it is so English. Both white and fine-ground brown peanuts are used, and the sandwich is either rolled or tied with a ribbon or cut in some fancy shape. Here are a few of the most popular sandwiches of the moment:

Peanut sandwiches are perhaps the newest kind of sandwiches. Spread the thin slices of white bread with mayonnaise dressing and cover well with ground peanuts that have been well-roasted. Serve with sherry. They are delicious.

Raisin sandwiches are quite the thing to serve with lemonade or sweet punch, and are made by cutting large raisins in half with a sharp scissors and removing the seeds. Lay the fruit closely together between thin buttered white bread and moisten with a suspicion of brandy or sherry, but not enough to reach the bread and make it soggy. Cut the bread in fancy shapes.

Between thin slices of white bread, buttered, place nasturtium leaves, well-covered with mayonnaise dressing. These are to be served with game, and must be eaten soon after made, as the leaves soon wither."

Sounds interesting, doesn't it? I wouldn't mind trying the peanut sandwich, but hold the mayo. The raisin sandwich sounds good, too. Must have been before they developed the seedless raisin. And could the peanut sandwich have caused the invention of peanut butter? I'll pass on the nasturtium sandwich. Eating flowers is not for me.

I think most of us would prefer a Big Mac, or a Whopper with fries on the side, with a soft drink.

The sandwich has come a long way in the last 100 years. It's the big favorite of the 20th century.

I've always wondered: why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

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