Posted by Tamara Stanley on Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 00:00
National Sandwich Day? What?! Yes, it is true. Today is the day you can celebrate your love for sandwiches. Slap something between two pieces of bread (or a bread substitute, like these inspired creations or this one), and thank the Earl of Sandwich for knowing when to hold them and not to fold them.
A Beloved, Portable Meal Is Born
Let's explain. National Sandwich Day, November 3, is in honor of the birthday of John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. Infamous in 18th Century Britain for being a rakehell, spending much of his fortune on wine, wooing women and gambling, the earl was in the middle of a good card match. According to lore, this bout lasted 24 hours during which Mr. Sandwich refused to leave the table. But an earl has to eat, right? Especially to keep up his poker face stamina. So, in order to continue with the game, he asked his servants to put his meals in something he could hold in one hand, while he held his cards in the other. The cook took a couple slices of roast beef and put them in between pieces of toast. Voilà! The sandwich was born.
National Sandwich Day, Every Day
Industry experts say Americans eat about 300 million sandwiches every day. Ham tops our list, followed by the BLT. Sandwiches are the most popular lunch choice for full-time workers says the National Restaurant Association. And while there are still plenty of alternatives to the sandwich for your workday lunch, we can't let go, even when we're out of the office: 70 percent of all sandwiches are eaten at home.
What's for Lunch?
If you want to honor this day to the fullest, take a look at this Thrillist list of the top 50 sandwiches of all time, a comprehensive, hunger-inducing visual display that would make John Montagu proud. Learn the history of the PB&J, the grilled cheese and more here. Or if you're in the Chicago area or want to take a road trip, have a sandwich nap at the Rainbow Pink Palace. Bon appétit ... and sweet dreams.