Celebrate National Sandwich Day today!

montecristo_flickr_torbakhopperNovember 3 — Would you believe that Americans eat more than 300 million sandwiches a day? That’s right, every day we consume about as many sandwiches as we have people to eat them.

And why not? The sandwich might be the perfect food: portable, open to any interpretation and as simple or as elaborate as your mood permits. The sandwich has a long history, but it hasn’t always been as embraced in America as it is now. It’s hard to imagine, but the sandwich was once thought of as un-patriotic!

That’s because the sandwich was popularized in England in 1762 during the Revolutionary War by a nobleman named John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. Food historians agree that Montagu had a substantial gambling problem, which led him to spend hours on end at the card table. During a particularly long binge, he asked the house cook to bring him something he could eat without getting up from his seat. Meat between two slices of bread appeared – and the sandwich was born. Montagu enjoyed his meat and bread so much that he ate it constantly, and as the concoction grew popular in London society circles it also took on the Earl’s name.

What’s the most popular sammie in the United States? According to menu research firm Datassential the favorite is the turkey sandwich (14%), followed by ham (11%), chicken (9%), and the classic sub (8%). The classic PB&J and the BLT tied with the grilled cheese (5%), and roast beef came in at 4%. Data from 100,000 restaurant menus showed the most popular sandwich ingredient trends: Barbecue, chipotle, and pesto. Those gaining in popularity are: kimchee, aged cheddar, and naan. America is going global!

This week at Edible Education, we are featuring another international classic: The Monte Cristo, served with applesauce. Click here to get the recipe.