What is the difference between tramezzino and sandwich? The habit of putting condiments between two slices of bread has decidedly ancient origins and reconstructing them is not an easy challenge.
When it comes to tracing the origins of traditional dishes and specialities, then, there is always the risk of disputes and disputes. In this case, however, we are faced with a lucky sandwich. We have enough references, in fact, to be able to clarify, at least in part, the events that led to the birth of both sandwiches.
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How the sandwich was born
The sandwich, as we understand it today, was born in Great Britain by John Montagu IV, Earl of Sandwich, officer and diplomat. To tell the truth, it is not certain that he really invented the sandwich, but certainly thanks to the count it became populararound the second half of the 1700s.
The nobleman’s idea was to order the roast lunch served between two slices of buttered bread, so that he could eat it without diverting attention from his gambling activities. The habit, 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, inaugurating the tasty fame of the sandwich.
At the origins of the sandwich
The story of the birth of the sandwich is equally fascinating. This is traced back to Angela Demichelis Nebiolo and her husband, who conceived it in 1926, in the kitchens of their restaurant, the Caffe Mulassano in Piazza Castelloin Turin.
Angela was assigned to marry when she was still very young. She grew up in Detroit, America, where her husband and relatives resided. She liked the New World, she soon discovered the car and immediately got her driving licence. But homesickness was great and so in 25 Angela and Orino, who in the meantime had started a family, returned home, to Torino, where they took a place all to themselves. With the intention of reviving the business, the couple began to serve their customers an Italian version of the English tea sandwich. They stuffed the inside of the toast with special ingredients, peeled off the edges, and served it untoasted. It reads on the site of the now local historian:
“They had brought a machine that toasted bread with them from the States: so they were the first to import toast in Turin. Not satisfied with this innovation, they thought of using that very soft bread, used for toast, without toasting and with a special and more intense filling: this is how Mr. Onorino invented the tramezzino”.
The difference between tramezzino and sandwich
So what is the difference between tramezzino and sandwich? Given the success of the tea sandwiches, at Caffè Mulassano they thought of offering their sandwiches also as a midday snack to serve the many employees in via Roma and via Po.
A few years later he passed by Gabriele D’Annunzio that, wanting to avoid ordering one of these delicious specialties using anglicism sandwichdevised the name “sandwich“. Playing with the architectural term “tramezzo”, something that lies in the middle, just like this ideal snack to satisfy hunger between breakfast and lunch. So the English sandwich became the very Italian tramezzino, and the rest is history.