Quite possibly the greatest British culinary invention is being celebrated 20th-26th May and so it should be! People come from all over the world just to experience an afternoon nibbling on dainty, crustless finger sandwiches filled with a thin layer of cucumber because that’s what they think us eccentric/civilised Brits do at 3pm every day.
Imagine….life without the sanger. What would a picnic look like? How miserable would the childrens’ lunch boxes be without the hero component? What about Saturday morning breakfasts and the horror of a hangover without a bacon and egg butty to mop up the shame?
In the car or tractor, in the garden, on the beach or just sitting at the kitchen table, sandwiches are the ultimate convenience food and nobody tells you off for eating with your fingers.
There is a perfect sandwich for every occasion and mood. Sometimes you just want an old reliable, classic cheese and pickle. Sometimes, if you’re like my brother, you want to challenge yourself to a fridge raid and come up with the most random, anti-social, triple-decker with a huge dollop of salad cream. Maybe you fancy a smelly egg mayo (never been a fan and would stay quite clear of anyone who is eating one) a BLAT (BLT with avocado), a basic ham and cheese toastie or, my absolute favourite, coronation chicken. The sandwich is so brilliantly versatile.
Dad used to go off onto the farm each day with a corned beef sandwich, packet of crisps and a club (# if you like a lotta chocolate on your biscuit join our club #). He wouldn’t ever have considered branching out and swapping the beef for another filling like tuna – far too “exotic”! I used to opt for sandwich spread or a load of crisps squashed between two slices of Mighty White – still tastes so good ( the crisps, definitely not the sandwich spread)!
On school trips everyone had either ham or cheese, cut into four squares or triangles (we all know that triangles taste better), but the sandwich filling options are endless now where they once seemed quite limited. Sandwiches are as much influenced by modern day trends as fashion and music, however I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go down the road of swapping out bread for cabbage leaves or Portobello mushrooms.
At dinner time we bring out the big guns when anything goes – the fishfinger sandwich with tartare sauce, a burger, steak in ciabatta, a meatball sub and later into the night comes the most acceptable kebab. No matter what the time of day, you can rest assured there is a sandwich for it and (at the risk of being overly cheesy) we have all the ingredients you need in the shop.