Most sandwiches today are variations of the original.
In 1896 GOOD HOUSEKEEPING magazine suggested readers use a meat grinder to make a peanut butter to spread on bread. In the 1940s jelly was added to the sandwich, making the PB&J sandwich. What started as peanut butter and jelly spread between two slices of bread, has grown into numerous types of spread combinations. Today almond butter and other nut spreads can be used to replace peanut butter. Instead of jelly, sandwiches are made with honey, cheese, and fresh fruit slices (apple and banana slices are two common ones) and are eaten at room temperature or grilled. If it isn’t peanut butter and jelly between two slices of white bread, it isn’t an original PB&J sandwich.
HOT CHEESE SANDWICH
The hot cheese sandwich (today called the grilled cheese sandwich) became popular in the United States with the invention of processed cheese. The first sandwiches were open faced with grated cheese on top and heated in the oven. In 1929 a recipe book said to broil it, and in 1939 a cook book said to sauté the sandwich in a frying pan coated with butter. The 1953 JOY OF COOKING said the sandwich should be heated in a commercial waffle iron. Today, the grilled cheese sandwich is made with any cheese and any condiments the cook desires. The original is very plain from what we make today.
THE GOOD HOUSEKEEPING EVERYDAY COOK BOOK of 1903 said to make a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich you placed these ingredients along with mayo and a slice of turkey between two slices of bread. After WWII, this sandwich appeared on menus of local diners. Orders were written down and yelled to the cook in the kitchen. With so many orders for this sandwich, it was faster to write down and shout “BLT”; thus, the abbreviated name BLT came into use. Today, if this sandwich is made with a variety of meats, but it is not the original.
In the United States, Omaha, Nebraska, claims the Reuben sandwich originated there. The “real” Reuben is made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing pressed hot on rye bread. If it doesn’t have all of these ingredients, it is not a true Reuben.
The Cuban sandwich is popular in Tampa and Miami, Florida. It begins with a blend of cured ham and roasted pork which has been marinated overnight in mojo (a blend of bitter orange, oregano, cumin, garlic, onion, vinegar, and salt). Then, a slice of Swiss cheese, three pickles (no more and no less) and mustard are placed over the meat. Genoa salami is also in the Tampa version. What sets the Cuban apart from other similar sandwiches is the bread. Cuban bread has a different baking method and ingredients than French or Italian bread. A moist palmetto leaf is placed over the dough as it is left to rise. The dough wraps around the leaf and gives the bread a unique flavor. If authentic Cuban bread is not used, it is not a Cuban sandwich.
To make a signature sandwich, start with original ingredients and add IMAGINATION!
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