My favorite sandwich is a fried egg and BLT breakfast panini, preferably with a smattering of goat cheese and a dab of light mayo. I have also been known to enjoy a hot turkey sandwich or two, created with leftovers from Christmas dinner. Mmmmm.
November 3 is National Sandwich Day, and I bet you don’t even really know where one of the Western world’s favorite lunch options originated from. Maybe you’ve heard that some guy called the Earl of Sandwich was the inventor of sandwiches, but this is only partly true. All this guy did was one day order a servant to bring him some meat served between two slices of bread, and most of the people around him chimed in with “I’ll have the same as Sandwich” (total followers, right?). That’s how the name came into being.
But the simple deliciousness that is the sandwich goes back pretty far, even to the Middle Ages. It became more popular throughout Europe in the 19th century when the regular, working people embraced it as a convenient, inexpensive meal option. And now we eat nearly 300 sandwiches a day in the USA!
To honor our beloved meal of the masses, here are five books you can check out that celebrate everything that is put between slices.
1. Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book: The Best Sandwiches Ever – From Thursday Nights at Campanile by Nancy Silverton and Teri Gelber
No simple PB&J or egg salad happening here. La Brea Bakery and Campanile restaurant in LA were a dream team during the 90s and created unforgettable sandwiches, including the Open-Faced Berry Brioche Sandwich and the Chocolate Cake Club Sandwich. This book is full of recipes created, recreated, and used at Campanile, guaranteeing you’ll never refer to a sandwich as “boring” ever again.
2. The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches: Recipes, History, and Trivia for Everything Between Sliced Bread by Susan Russo
If you’ve ever wondered how and why sandwiches can look so perfect in photos, and why you can never recreate them quite as well in your own home, this is the book for you. I’m quite sure that this book actually does list EVERY type of sandwich ever made and includes common, quirky, and totally exotic recipes from around the globe. It also contains tips, tricks, and tidbits of info that will propel you to fame as the Sandwich Trivia King or Queen of your neighborhood.
3. A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches by Tyler Kord
When the New York Times called him the “Willy Wonka of submarine sandwiches,” Tyler Kord replied by saying he prefers the term “Sandwich Batman.” This gives you a glimpse into the erratic personality of this successful chef who started the wildly popular chain of No 7 restaurants in NYC, and also a glimpse into the content of this crazy cookbook. The personality of the chef/writer/Batman is obvious even from the first few pages of the book, where Kord admits “I put maple syrup on everything I eat. It’s not in so many recipes in this book, but I want to tell you about it anyway.” Needless to say, I think you’ll have fun with this one!
4. Sandwich: A Global History (Edible) by Bee Wilson
This is a history book you can actually sink your teeth into. No stuffy white wigs, endless names of battlegrounds, or boring lists of lineage lines here; this one is legit about the history of the sandwich. It gives a detailed account of the famed Earl of Sandwich and also explains the origins of some of our favorite snacks: Po’boys, cucumber sandwiches, and even our beloved Subway restaurants. Yes, you will be hungry while reading this. Guaranteed.
5. Sam’s Sandwich by David Pelham
This one’s for the little people. In this story, Sam wants to make a sandwich for his little sister. I know what you’re thinking: AWWWWW! Well, um… not so much. It’s actually a story about how Sam wants to make the most disgusting sandwich possible and give it to his sister. Each page contains flaps that hide surprise ingredients that will make every kid cackle with laughter and wrinkle their nose, all at the same time. Classic!
What are you waiting for? Go grab one of these books and take a bite! Er.. I mean… Get reading!
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