The folklore surrounding the creation of the sandwich dates back to at least the 18th century, when the Earl of Sandwich–a notorious gambler–used bread to hold the contents of his meals so he would not have to leave the gaming table to dine. Whether or not this story is truly the birth of the sandwich–the sandwich remains to this day a solid lunch staple. Each day Americans consume over 300 million sandwiches–a number that doesn’t appear to be declining. Variations of the sandwich continue to develop, and classic sandwich combinations have stuck around through the decades. If you’re wondering what’s for lunch today, try a new kind of sandwich!
Call them what you will–subs, heroes or hoagies–the submarine sandwich continues to be one of the favorite variations on the classic sandwich. The history of the hoagie is a hotly debated topic among some sandwich shop owners in the Philadelphia area. With their pleasantly warm and melty cheese and crisp and toasty bun, hot sub sandwiches fall into the category of comfort food for many. Restaurants that specialize in submarine sandwiches are collectively valued around $27.7 billion.
Sandwiches From Around the Globe
If you are looking for a new or exotic kind of sandwich, expand your taste buds’ horizons by trying a sandwich from distant cuisines. For example, the bocadillo from Spain. This sandwich incorporates a type of omelette made with potatoes and onions and various types of meat served with various sauces on rustic bread. The Chacarero from Chile includes thinly sliced, grilled steak with green beans, tomatoes and peppers on a round roll.
New Trends in Sandwiches
Many chefs over recent years have endeavored to create a new kind of sandwich trend. Some especially yummy results include a trend towards sliders–miniature burgers and sandwiches. Large enough for a couple of bites, often diners can order between three and four of various types of sliders–often getting to sample different sandwich combinations. Trends continue in the direction of healthy eating. Consequently, many sandwich shops offering soup and salad combinations have seen spikes in sales. Along this strain, some restaurants now allow diners to purchase half a sandwich with a side instead of committing to the sandwich in its entirety.
Some brave souls looking to try something new and exciting for lunch can now find many strikingly strange sandwiches in restaurants across the country. For instance, the Juicy Lucie burger from Minnesota mimics the beloved traditional cheeseburger with one key difference; the cheese is incorporated into the burger patty so it melts into the meat for a whole new experience.
With all the new kinds of sandwiches around, there is a reason that people keep coming back to the tried and true classics. According to a survey of 946 people, the most popular sandwich choices were turkey with 14% and ham with 11%. Kids and adults alike love their peanut butter and jelly.
While many people make their own sandwiches, the number of sandwiches purchased in restaurants or delis continues to be high. Nationwide, almost half of sandwiches consumed were purchased outside the home. Next time you are looking for something to eat for lunch, remember that there is a sandwich for everyone.