The History and Evolution of Sandwiches

Origin of Sandwiches
Origin of Sandwiches
The sandwich concept dates back to 1st century B.C. Ancient Jewish sage Hillel the Elder is known to have wrapped lamb-meat and bitter herbs in soft matzah during Passover.
Sandwich, the Name
Sandwich, the Name
The term 'sandwich' is 18th-century English. Allegedly named after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, who requested meat between bread to eat without interrupting his gambling.
Industrial Revolution Impact
Industrial Revolution Impact
During the 18th century, the sandwich became popular as an easy meal for workers and travelers, due to the Industrial Revolution's demand for quick, portable, and inexpensive food.
American Sandwich Evolution
American Sandwich Evolution
In America, sandwiches diversified with immigration. The early 20th century saw the rise of regional specialties like the Po'boy, Philly cheesesteak, and the Reuben.
World War II Influence
World War II Influence
During WWII, sandwiches fed soldiers and civilians alike. They were promoted for their versatility and convenience, further cementing their global popularity.
Fast Food Revolution
Fast Food Revolution
In the 20th century, fast-food chains standardized and commodified sandwiches, with icons like the hamburger and submarine sandwich becoming worldwide staples.
Contemporary Variations
Contemporary Variations
Today's sandwiches include gourmet and fusion variations, showcasing a global palate. From bánh mì to panini, they reflect cultural diversity and culinary innovation.
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Who initiated the sandwich concept?
John Montagu, 18th century
Hillel the Elder, 1st century B.C.
American immigrants, 20th century