Over 300 years of sandwiches: how the sandwich was born

If we were to attempt to reconstruct the history of the first sandwich and to understand, that is, how the sandwich was born, we should go very far in time, until we reach the streets of theancient Rome. In fact, in Rome, the city markets were full of stalls that prepared quick breakfasts, hot and simple foods, suitable to be consumed quickly in order to quickly get back to dealing with daily chores.

A kind of fast food ante-letter, where to dominate among the gastronomic proposals was the Bread and hamor bread and ham, perhaps accompanied with dried figs, of which the Romans were greedy.

How the sandwich was born: the story of a sandwich

It would also seem that the custom of stuffing bread with something in between was born, more precisely, in the Suburra district of Rome where there is a street, via Panisperna (Bread and ham), which takes its name from the renowned food. This was a “stuffed sandwich consisting of a small piece of bread – explains Francesco De Martino, patron of the Caupona restaurant in Pompeii and who has more recently taken up the tradition – opened horizontally and stuffed with slices of ham sandwiched between the two halves made to fit together”.

The original recipe it also included hard-boiled eggs, olive epitherium, escarole, Cato’s libum (primo sale cheese), flavored chicken strips, raw ham and Apicius sauce with spices. In short, a tasty sandwich, very similar to modern bread and ham, and which could rightfully be defined as the ancestor of the more famous sandwich.

Who invented the sandwich

The history of the sandwich could only pass through the genius of Leonardo da Vinci who, in addition to being a painter, sculptor, engineer, mathematician, architect, inventor and musician, was also a cooking enthusiast. In his “Codex Romanoff” there are, in addition to sketches of weapons and machines, a long series of kitchen tools and recipes. Among his culinary proposals, also that of a kind of tramezzino – a slice of bread wrapped in two slices of meat – to which, however, Leonardo was unable to attribute a name.

We will have to wait another two centuries before the English Lord Sandwich enters this story, attributing his name to the Leonardesque sandwich.

What year was the sandwich invented?

We are in Great Britain, in Kent, and Jhon Montagu IV (1718-1792), Earl of Sandwich, is decidedly busy between public and private life. It would also seem that the diplomat was also an inveterate card player and that, in order not to leave the gaming table, he also gave up eating.

One day the Earl of Sandwich was playing cards. Not wanting to interrupt the game to eat, he decided to have the roast meat scheduled for lunch served between two slices of buttered bread, instead of on a plate, finding a practical and quick way to enjoy the meal without interrupting himself. The count still could not know it, but his gesture left an indelible mark on her history of the sandwich.

The idea, initially hailed as bizarre, was gradually imitated by others. People ordered by asking “the same as Sandwich”, the same one that takes Sandwich. So his name came to indicate the sandwich and for this reason the birth of the sandwich is traced back to him.

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