Did the Fourth Earl of Sandwich Actually Invent the Sandwich?


Quick Answer

Though a single person can't reasonably be credited for the idea of putting meat, cheese or another food between two slices or pieces of bread, the fourth Earl of Sandwich is often credited for giving this culinary concoction its name. This man, a noble Englishman named John Montagu, is supposed to have been a rather aggressive gambler who wouldn't get up from a poker game in order to eat. He ordered a servant to bring him a piece of meat between two protective pieces of bread to keep his hands, and the cards they touched, free from grease.

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Did the Fourth Earl of Sandwich Actually Invent the Sandwich?
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Full Answer

Sandwich's peers apparently thought this was a good idea, and he kicked off a trend. However, though this may have been a relatively novel idea for Europeans, people in other parts of the world such as the Middle East had been wrapping meat in bread or stuffing bread with meat for a long time before the Earl of Sandwich was even born. So, while the Earl of Sandwich doesn't exactly deserve the title of the inventor of the sandwich, he can reasonably be said to be this food's English-language namesake. Sandwiches remain hugely popular across multiple cultures.

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