The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







This article is about the food item. For other uses see: sandwich (disambiguation).

Deli Sandwiches
Deli Sandwiches

The sandwich is a food item consisting of bread and other fillings such as one or more layers of meat (often a type of cold cut), cheese, vegetables, condiments, sauces or other filling. According to the Washington Post, USA sandwich business was worth $105 billion US in sales in 2003, with a 6% annual growth. In many countries, a sandwich traditionally takes the form of two or more slices of bread enclosing the sandwich fillings. In Scandinavia a sandwich traditionally takes the form of one slice of bread topped by the sandwich "fillings". The sandwich form has evolved to include those made with such "breads" as tortilla, rolls and focaccia.

The dish was named after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, an English aristocrat, in the 18th century, although it is unlikely to have been invented by him. It is said that Lord Sandwich was fond of this form of food because it allowed him to continue gambling while eating. Nowadays some types of sandwich are too unwieldy to be held in the hand, thus defeating Montagu's original purpose, and must thus be eaten with utensils, or at least both hands. In some countries it is considered proper to eat sandwiches with utensils.

The name of the earldom Sandwich comes from the village of Sandwich in England. The name is derived from Sandwicĉ, which means literally, "sandy harbour", or "sandy trading centre".

Sandwiches are common foods to be taken on picnics or for hiking, and to bring to work, school, or outings for lunch in lunchboxes.

In India, sandwiches are mostly vegetarian, the most common type being vegetable sandwich. In the UK, particularly the north of England they are known, informally, as 'butties'. This is particularly the case with sandwiches including freshly-cooked bacon and butter, though other forms of 'buttie' use other ingredients and mayonnaise. A sandwich filled with chips (US: french fries) is known as a 'chip buttie'. Another informal English name is 'sarnie'. In Scotland, sandwiches are called "pieces". Australian slang for sandwich is "sanger". In South Africa sandwiches are sometimes called "sarmies".

British Sandwich Week, organised by the British Sandwich Association which represents the UK sandwich industry, occurs on the week beginning on the second Sunday of May.

The ham sandwich theorem can be used to prove mathematically that a single cut can divide two pieces of bread and the filling each exactly in half.



Sandwiches vary both in their style - how they are put together - and their fillings. Not every style could be used with every filling.

Sandwich styles

Open face sandwiches: In United States usually a warm meat (beef, turkey, ham) served open face and covered with gravy.


External links

Last updated: 06-01-2005 23:28:13
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