As the story goes, the 18th century nobleman was an avid gambler, who never wanted to leave a game to eat. During a 24-hour gambling event, he commanded his servants to put meat between two slices of bread so he could eat with one hand, and continue to gamble with the other. That is supposedly how the popular lunchtime food was invented.
The actual history of the sandwich is traced back to a Jewish sage named Hillel the Elder who wrapped lamb meat with herbs between two pieces of soft matzah bread during Passover, which was the precursor to the flatbread sandwich. Also, during the Middle Ages, flat usually stale pieces of bread known as “trenchers” were used as plates. These trenchers piled with food were often served to dogs or beggars at the tables of wealthy individuals or were eaten in more modest circumstances. Trenchers were thus the precursors to open-faced sandwiches. The sandwich as we know it grew in popularity during the 19th century in Spain and England when portable and inexpensive meals became essential. When bread started to become a staple food in the United States in the early 20th century, sandwiches began to rise in popularity there as well.
In America, another advanced form of the sandwich, the hamburger, is the second most consumed lunch food by full-time workers, right after fruit. 75% of restaurants that serve sandwiches also serve hamburgers on the menu and hamburgers are the most popular take-out food in the U.S.
If you want to celebrate National Sandwich Day properly, here are 25 classic and gourmet sandwich recipes for you to choose from!