Who Invented the Sandwich?

In 1660, Edward Montagu, of England, was made an Earl. When one is made an Earl, they take the name of a city to complete their title. Edward Montagu had originally picked the city of Portsmouth which would have made him the Earl of Portsmouth.

However, he changed his mind since the fleet of ships he commanded were anchored off “Sandwich” in England on their way to bring Charles II back home. That is the only connection the town has with the family of the Earl of Sandwich and people wrongly think the sandwich was invented in Sandwich, England.

The story goes that in 1762 the 1st Earl of Sandwich, Edward Montagu, was part a heated gambling game and he did not wish to stop for his dinner. So, he ordered that his dinner of roast mutton and vegetables be brought to him between two pieces of bread. This way he could continue playing and eat his dinner at the same time. Other players in the game asked to have their dinner served to them just like “Sandwich.” And from there the sandwich was born.

Edward Montagu is known as the inventor of the sandwich, however, the first food item called sandwich was in the 1st century BC and attributed to Rabbi Hillel the Elder. During Passover, he placed roast lamb, nuts, and vegetables between two old pieces of unleavened bread. During the middle ages, they used bread as kind of a plate but tossed the stale bread once they were done.

Whether you’re enjoying peanut butter and jelly, turkey and cheese or a nice Reuben, we can thank Edward Montagu for your sandwich.

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