How many sandwiches can you name? It might be a fun activity on November 3 to do with your family and friends.  Why November 3? That is the nonofficial day each year recognized as National Sandwich Day.

Englishman John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich and a gambler, is credited with inventing the sandwich. Montagu was participating in a 24-hour card game and did not want to stop playing to eat. He requested meat be placed between two slices of bread so he could eat with one hand while continuing to play cards with the other. He was born on November 3, so when someone decided there needed to be a National Sandwich Day, November 3 seemed appropriate.

The word “sandwich” is defined as creating something by placing an object between two like items. When it comes to food, originally a sandwich was meat put between two pieces of bread. Today, a sandwich can refer to a meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. One or more ingredients are placed between bread slices, hoagies, bagels, biscuits, crackers, etc. You can buy mini sandwiches which are promoted as a quick snack between meals. You can also find dessert sandwiches (ice cream sandwiches and cookie sandwiches).

The fast food chains have made billions by creating new versions of sandwiches. Breakfast sandwiches consist of eggs, cheese, bacon or sausage on a bagel, toast, or biscuit. Any of these ingredients can be deleted at the request of the customer. Recently, hash browns and fries, which use to be served on the side, can now be added to the sandwich itself.

For lunch or dinner, the things you can pile inside a sandwich are limitless. Every type of meat, poultry, and fish can be used. The fresh vegetables range from A to Z. You can order them raw or grilled. You can get fries and Mac-and-Cheese on your sandwich or on the side. What use to be a plan sandwich can now be ordered “fully loaded.”

The list of condiments that people can put on sandwiches is also endless. Mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise have been replaced with gourmet versions. For example, your sandwich can be ordered with horseradish mustard, honey mustard, or deli-mustard. Instead of using ketchup, you can replace it with hot sauce or BBQ sauce. If you add mayonnaise to your sandwich it no longer has to be original; it can be avocado-mayo or horseradish-mayo. Instead of just the sandwich pickle, you now have garlic, dill, hot peppers, and bread and butter to select from. Each condiment will give the same basic sandwich a unique taste all its own.

To entice vegetarians to purchase their sandwiches, chains are offering meatless sandwiches that taste like hamburger. For people wanting to eliminate bread products from their diet, lettuce or kale is offered as an alternative. With the selections the fast food chains are offering and the freedom customers have in saying what they want to eat on their sandwich, people can eat on the go and eat healthy too.

Most chains are offering sandwich deals on November 3. Check your favorite out online.

I wonder what Montagu would think if he knew what he started with meat and two slices of bread has emerged into today.!

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