Last Modified: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 6:55 PM
August kicks off one of the more eclectic food recognition months in the year.
For the next 31 days, even meat eaters and vegetarians can agree to set aside their differences and meet halfway between two slices of bread during National Sandwich Month.
Munching on sandwiches — everyday if you want — is a delicious way to watch the month pass by.
Americans are thoroughly familiar with sandwiches, consuming 45 billion a year according to federal estimates.
We eat them, but had nothing to do with the evolution of the sandwich.
Hillel the Elder, a rabbi during the first century B.C., is probably responsible for getting the ball rolling towards modern civilization’s kitchen affair with the sandwich.
“He started the Passover custom of sandwiching a mixture of chopped nuts, apples, spices, and wine between two matzohs to eat with bitter herbs,” according to the online site www.whatscookingamerica.net.
In case you are wondering, matzoh is unleavened bread.
Food historians argue that in the 1700s, John Montague, who happened to be the Fourth Earl of Sandwich and a hard gambling man, put the sandwich on the map with his usual order of meat slapped between two slices of bread.
His buddies, who also wanted salt beef surrounded by two slices of toasted bread, ordered theirs uttering “the same as Sandwich.”
From those humble, yet significant beginnings, the modern sandwich has developed into an art form that ranges from simple bologna and bread to Mozzarella, tomatoes and hot olive salad on focaccia.
Here is a list of sandwiches you can prepare that will get you started on eating a sandwich a day if you choose.
Enjoy the month.
Sloppy joe: Cooked ground meat with tomato sauce and seasoning and served on a round bun.
Reuben: Corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese with Thousand Island dressing on rye and grilled.
Monte Cristo: Fried ham and cheese served with jelly.
Cheese: Bread and cheese, cooked or not.
BLT: Bacon, lettuce and tomato.
Muffuletta: Round loaf of bread covered with olive salad, capicola, salami, pepperoni, ham, Swiss cheese and provolone.
Dagwood: huge sandwich with many layers of meats.
Po’boy: Louisiana-styled submarine. Served on baguette style bread and filled with meat or seafood, lettuce and tomato.
Submarine: On French or Italian bread with lots of meat, vegetables and condiments and may include sweet peppers, onions, mushrooms and spinach.
Cheesesteak: Cooked sliced steak and melted cheese on a long roll.
Club: Three-layer sandwich with sliced turkey or chicken, bacon, tomato and lettuce.
Corned beef: Meat and mustard on rye.
Cuban: Ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard on Cuban bread. Sandwich is pressed and warmed.
Elvis: Two pieces of bread, peanut butter, sliced banana and fried bacon.
Hummus club: Alfalfa sprouts, hummus, tomato and lettuce.
Eric Cormier writes about food every Wednesday. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 494-4090.