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Sandwich: A Global History

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Overview

The humble peanut butter and jelly or bologna and cheese or corned beef on rye—no matter your cooking expertise, chances are you’ve made and eaten countless sandwiches in your lifetime. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s open to infinite variety and inventiveness. If there’s something bread- or bun-like in your cupboard, there is a sandwich waiting to happen.

Though sandwiches are a near-universal food, their origin can be traced to a very precise historical figure: John Montagu,...

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Sandwich

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Overview

The humble peanut butter and jelly or bologna and cheese or corned beef on rye—no matter your cooking expertise, chances are you’ve made and eaten countless sandwiches in your lifetime. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s open to infinite variety and inventiveness. If there’s something bread- or bun-like in your cupboard, there is a sandwich waiting to happen.

Though sandwiches are a near-universal food, their origin can be traced to a very precise historical figure: John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, who, sometime before 1762 being too busy to stop for dinner, asked for some cold beef to be brought to him between two slices of bread. In Sandwich, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson unravels the mystery of how the Earl invented this most elementary but delicious way of eating. Wilson explores what sandwiches might have been like before the eighteenth century, why the name sandwich stuck, and how the Earl’s invention took off so quickly around the globe.

Wilson brings together a wealth of material to trace how the sandwich has evolved, looking at sandwiches around the world, from the decadent meatball hoagie to the dainty cucumber tea sandwich. Loved the world over, this popular food has surprisingly never before been the subject of a book-length history until now.

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Editorial Reviews

Economist - LUCY FARMER

"The sandwich is a simple, humble foodstuff, eaten daily by billions of people across the globe. Familiarity may breed contempt, but there is much to love and learn about the sandwich, acccording to Bee Wilson, author of a new history of the convenient meal. An historian and food journalist . . . Ms. Wilson delves into the evolution and re-invention of the sandwich, and considers its cultural significance around the world. Along the way she delivers some charming anecdotes, amusing pictures and mouth-watering recipes."

In Mamas Kitchen Blog

"Wilson spans the globe to see how the sandwich has evolved and taken root in Asia, in the countries more devoted to rice than to bread. She offers recipes that are both historical and contemporary. The sandwich is here to stay."--InMamasKitchen.com

Toronto Star - Rick Madonik
"Serious foodies will want to take a bite out of Bee Wilson’s Sandwich: A Global History, the latest in a series of short, cultural histories of a particular food or drink. If sandwiches aren’t your thing, the easily digestible and smartly illustrated series also offers takes on everything from cake to whisky."
Economist
The sandwich is a simple, humble foodstuff, eaten daily by billions of people across the globe. Familiarity may breed contempt, but there is much to love and learn about the sandwich, acccording to Bee Wilson, author of a new history of the convenient meal. An historian and food journalist . . . Ms. Wilson delves into the evolution and re-invention of the sandwich, and considers its cultural significance around the world. Along the way she delivers some charming anecdotes, amusing pictures and mouth-watering recipes.

— LUCY FARMER

InMamasKitchen.com

"Wilson spans the globe to see how the sandwich has evolved and taken root in Asia, in the countries more devoted to rice than to bread.  She offers recipes that are both historical and contemporary.  The sandwich is here to stay."

Toronto Star
Serious foodies will want to take a bite out of Bee Wilson’s Sandwich: A Global History, the latest in a series of short, cultural histories of a particular food or drink. If sandwiches aren’t your thing, the easily digestible and smartly illustrated series also offers takes on everything from cake to whisky.
— Rick Madonik
Serious Eats.com
"This book provides a look at the sandwich's origins and its interpretation across centuries and geographic boundaries. It's part of the Edible Series, published by Reaktion Books. Each book in the series highlights an individual dish or ingredient in a palatable 100 or so pages. From pancakes to whiskey, the Series allows you to learn in depth about the history of numerous favorite foods."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781861897718
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/15/2010
  • Series: Reaktion Books - Edible
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 776,234
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Bee Wilson is a historian and journalist who writes for the London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, New Yorker, Sunday Times, and the New York Times. She also writes a weekly food column for the Sunday Telegraph called “The Kitchen Thinker,” for which she has received the Guild of Food Writers Food Journalist of the Year award three times.
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Table of Contents

Introduction

1   The History of the Sandwich: The Fourth Earl and What Came 
     Before
2   Constructing the Sandwich
3   Who Eats Sandwiches?
4   The American Sandwich
5   The Global Sandwich

Recipes Appendix: Fifty Notable Sandwiches References Select Bibliography Acknowledgements Photo Acknowledgements Index

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    Mmmm yummeh sammiches

    Sammich. I want a sammich...

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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