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 Definition At least one slice of bread, covered with meat or other filling [d] [e]
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 Workgroup category Food Science [Categories OK]
 Talk Archive none  English language variant Not specified

A major question

That has always preoccupied me: why, at least in British novels, do people go out to the kitchen to "cut sandwiches", whereas in the States they go out to the kitchen to "make sandwiches"? In the days before pre-sliced bread became widely available, did Americans also *cut* sandwiches? Or are Brits just so conversative that they simply refuse to give up a once-serviceable word? Hayford Peirce 15:23, 20 September 2007 (CDT)

I'd imagine it's origin is from to cut off the crusts or to cut the sandwich in half, not to slice the bread. Chris Day (talk) 15:36, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
Hmmm, I gotta say that I never thought of those two possibilities. I can see cuttin' the crusts off watercress sandwiches for the Duchess, yeah, but the crusts on a big thick ham sandwich for the breadwinner on his way to work? Where is Dr. Johnson when we need him? Hayford Peirce 15:58, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
Would you? I would have thought the opposite. How likely is it that people first made the sandwiches, left, then went back into the kitchen to cut them? But, Hayford--why do Americans "do the laundry"...? hee, hee. Aleta Curry 15:55, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
I never before considered the laundry question. What do our British cousins do about this necessary chore? In French, "on fait le linge", "one does the laundry...." Hayford Peirce 16:01, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
Oh, I guess that Brits do the wash, don't they? Hayford Peirce 16:06, 20 September 2007 (CDT)

I hate to contradict all of your stereotypes, but I and my British colleagues have always "made sandwiches" and "done the laundry", although not necessarily in that order. Of course, the traditional British sandwiches have the crusts cut off them, so I think Chris is right on the origin. Howvever, when you consider how appalling English white bread is, and how tasteless and rubbery are the crusts, this is not suprising: with the advent of wholemeal and other edible breads, the crusts are now retained. So we don't need to "cut them"! --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 16:10, 20 September 2007 (CDT)

In Ireland we make sandwiches, do the laundry, or these days, "put on a wash"... ;-) For a good read on the different "Englishes" spanning the Atlantic, I recommend Bill Bryson's "Made in America" - ISBN 0-380-71381-0 Anton Sweeney 17:41, 20 September 2007 (CDT)
Personally I "make sandwiches" and "do the washing". Of course, doing the washing and doing the washing-up are completely different things. The former refers to washing clothes, whilst the latter refers to cleaning plates and cutlery.
Now the bigger question is... is it true that Americans "do dive" when talking about cleaning plates and cutlery? --Chris Key 23:25, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Also, you no longer need to cut the crusts off of bread... as you can buy it without crusts now! --Chris Key 23:26, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
You can buy peeled garlic and peeled potatoes in my food market. It's still sinful. Howard C. Berkowitz 23:28, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Disambig? What about the place(s)? Peter Jackson 12:02, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
The Sandwich, Massachussetts down the road from me? Howard C. Berkowitz 17:11, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Sandwiches are named after the Earl of Sandwich, which is a place in Kent. There are probably quite a few around the English-speaking world. Peter Jackson 09:16, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Open something

I'd have said "open faced" rather than "open ended". What's the Scandinavian usage? Should there be a Smorrebrod section? Howard C. Berkowitz 17:10, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, I hate to say this but the famous smorrebrod or smörgås is not really any different from other sandwiches. We call it 'smörgås', which becomes 'macka' in informal usage. The traditional type is a slice of bread with butter and any of cheese, ham, 'prickig korv' (sliced sausage), herring, meatballs, or 'Kalles kaviar' on top. The latter is a very salty orange-colour mix of fish eggs (caviar) and flour which no foreigner will eat. You could substitute lovely 'leverpastej', which is a brown mixture of pig liver and lard, for the butter and add pickled cucumber. Optionally, you can have a second slice of bread on top, in which case it might be referred to as a 'dubbelmacka'. I can provide information, pictures, possibly samples if you should need it...
Whether this merits a section of its own, I leave to you to decide :) Johan A. Förberg 22:19, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
I've never heard of "open-ended" sandwiches, only "open-faced". I think the latter should inserted to go with the former. Hayford Peirce 22:45, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Is "open-ended" BE? I confess that I've never seen it elsewhere. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:56, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Johan, you bring back memories. Now, as an adult, it's very uncertain to say there's anything I won't try as a foreigner, although I do have limits -- in Japan, I told my hosts "no fugu, and it must be dead". While I haven't actually been in Thailand, I have been in a fair number of Thai homes, and, when someone tries a practical joke of making something too hot for a farang, I will ask for more chilis.
This was not, however, the case in my childhood. When I was eight or nine, we frequented a restaurant called a smorgasbord; I have no idea of its authenticity. It had cubes of a light brown material, which I thought was caramel, but was later told it was a Swedish cheese colored with red pepper. In any event, it seemed incredibly hot. I drained my water glass, ran to the waiter's station, drained the pitcher, and was grabbed by my mother just as I was struggling with a fire extinguisher aimed at my mouth. Howard C. Berkowitz 23:01, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
A "belegtes Brot" (or a "Jausenbrot") would be an open sandwich in German. --Peter Schmitt 00:39, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
I've never heard of "open-ended" or "open-faced". --Chris Key 00:53, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Open-faced is very common in 'Merca. In the 1960s, during the great "sandwich wars" on trans-atlantic airlines (companies could only give economy-class customers sandwiches by IATA regulation) Icelandic Airways, a super-cheap company that flew old prop planes was giving their customers *enormous* open-faced sandwiches, the equivalent of two or three regular dinners. The other companies complained ("unfair trade") and eventually IATA made them stop. Howard, an article for you.... Hayford Peirce 01:55, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

A "half round"

When I lived in London during the 1960's, half-sandwiches in pubs were called "half-rounds". Is that still the case these days? Milton Beychok 23:58, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

I've never lived in London, but I've lived in a few places in the UK and I've never heard the term. It may local to London specifically though.
Thinking about it, I'm not sure I've ever seen half-sandwiches offered.
--Chris Key 00:33, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Chris, and then there were "butty" sandwiches (bread and butter and bacon or sausage or chips). The most memorable one was the "butty chip" sandwich (french fries and ketchup between two slices of buttered bread). Milton Beychok 07:37, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
I've never come across the term "butty sandwich", though I can't guarantee it doesn't occur somewhere in the country. The term "butty", as I've come across it, is a noun in its own right, meaning a sandwich made with butter. Peter Jackson 09:18, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
I have certainly had many a "chip butty", but never a "butty chip" or "butty sandwich". I agree with Peter's definition. --Chris Key 15:35, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps in the intervening 45 years or so since I lived in London, I got the "butty" ahead of the "chip" ... nevertheless it was a memorable sandwich. I also remember what a raisin pudding was called in a pub ... but I 'm not sure I can mention that here. Milton Beychok 17:32, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Haha, yes I know what you are talking for. I am quite sure that you can mention it here, as the second word is an actual name - short for Richard. In fact a few years back some local governments decided that in hospital menus it should be renamed Spotted Richard, but there was such uproar that it was swiftly changed back! ( --Chris Key 18:31, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
It's now available in the British section of my local supermarket; my housemate went into hysterics on hearing the name. Of course, this is the same person who claims that the title of Herman Melville's masterpiece refers not to a whale and an obsession, but to a sexually transmitted disease. Howard C. Berkowitz 18:55, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Theres a British section in your supermarket?! That I'd love to see. --Chris Key 10:46, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
It's fairly new, but I'll try to note some of the things it carries---perhaps "Commonwealth", as I remember both Marmite and Vegemite. Didn't have Typhoo tea. "Spotted Dick" was USD $5.95 for what I'd imagine is about a one-pound tin. I live in a somewhat rural area that is a summer resort; the ethnic and national sections aren't what they were in the Washington DC area -- where there were also specialist stores.


Tramezzini are the Italian variant of a sandwich. --Peter Schmitt 00:37, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Folded sandwich

The description sounds as if it uses Möbius bread.

More seriously, should wraps (e.g., tortilla wraps) be considered sandwiches? Many restaurants do treat them as such. There starts being a very blurry line into the Mexican and Chinese pancake dishes, to say nothing of lettuce wraps. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:01, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

The word "sandwich" is used (and misused) for so many different snacks, small meals, ... that an article can only try to summarize and structure its uses while details (characterization, recipes, ...) are to be left to more specific pages, I think. --Peter Schmitt 16:41, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
There is probably the general term "sandwich" that includes -- not well-defined -- various mostly cold dishes with (on or between) bread.
And there are special types of sandwiches (regional variants, variants of how they are served, ...) which often have special names. --Peter Schmitt 17:01, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Statistics on fillings

The most popular commercially produced sandwich fillings in the UK are:[4]
1. Chicken Salad
2. Egg and Cress
[... 18 additional entries]

I'm betting that most sandwiches are not produced commercially. Also, such statistics are prone to change quickly. Is there some other way to arrange this, perhaps a shorter list and one which includes the sandwiches which are made at home? I think there is definitely a place for such a list, but perhaps there is a better way of doing it? Johan A. Förberg 10:07, 8 August 2010 (UTC) speling 10:09, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

the French sandwich

As far as I know, the French word for sandwich is, wait for it, le sandwich.... Hayford Peirce 16:17, 8 August 2010 (UTC) Hayford Peirce 16:19, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
According to the Larousse gastronomique (French) a "sandwich" is cold and has two slices. An open sandwich would be a "canapé" (small rectangles). Contradicting itself, it describes the croque-monsieur as "sandwich chaud" (hot), but this (I think) is only used as a means of description. A sandwich offered in a café or bar almost always is a piece of baguette (in two halves) with some filling. --Peter Schmitt 16:48, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it *is* confusing, but the basic point is that the French *do* use the word "sandwich" -- see my new addition to the article. Hayford Peirce 17:04, 8 August 2010 (UTC)