May 26, 2012

Struth! Take a slice from the Earl of Sandwich

Roast beef sandwich – CampbellsKitchens

IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says that in Britain they've just celebrated what's claimed to be the 250th anniversary of the invention of that great institution, the sandwich.

Town of Sandwich – VisitKent
And the biggest celebrations were centred on the town of Sandwich in Kent, where its said that a quarter of a century ago this month John Montagu, the-then Fourth Earl of Sandwich, called on a servant to bring him "a slice of beef between two pieces of bread" so he could continue a game of cards without the need to stop for lunch.

Several others at the table asked if they could be given "the same as Sandwich," so allegedly giving the world its most famous culinary mainstay.

Many disagree with the story and claim that "sandwiches" were a part of life in areas of Europe well before the Earl laid his claim to history… with the French town of Honfleur, that's "twinned" with Sandwich, even sending representatives to the British town this month to show their skills in making baguettes, alongside others from across England, America, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and Russia in showing off their talents at sandwich making.

The current earl of Sandwich also hosted a lunch for VIPs – with VIP sandwiches, of course – and noted that his famous forebear had funded Captain Cook's 1770 explorations of Australia and the South Pacific, with Cook discovering what are now the Hawaiian Islands and naming them the Sandwich Islands after his card-loving benefactor.

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