England Commemorates 250th Birthday of the Sandwich

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The birthplace of the sandwich is chowing down all year to celebrate

In 1762, one John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich (in Kent, England) decided to ask his manservant to put some meat between two slices of bread so he wouldn't have to get up from his gambling game for a snack. After all, who doesn't need a one-handed snack when throwin' down bills? Even though he wasn't the first to stick fixings between bread (the Greeks and Turks were already eating pitas, notes the Food Timeline), the creation was named after him. From that day forward, John Montagu blessed the world with the creation of the "sandwich," the bread staple of lunch, dinner, and every other snack time.

To commemorate the great invention, Sandwich (the location) and the rest of England have begun a year-long campaign full of sandwiches. Each month, the British Sandwich Alliance (yep, it exists) will feature a pick for the month — March is the BLT — and will feature new ingredients and ideas to create a new twist. Plus, U.K. residents can enter to win a trip to the Sandwich Islands, aka Hawaii. (They were originally named after our sandwich hero when discovered by Captain James Cook in 1778 — he gets a meal and an island chain, lucky man). After all, the British do eat nearly 11 billion sandwiches in a year.

Not in the U.K.? Doesn't mean you can't honor the sandwich in your own way. Try a recipe for the classic white bread/ turkey sandwich, or head to a specialty sandwich shop dedicated to the meaty (or veggie) meal.