Remember the days before gourmet eats and lacquered bento boxes, when brown bagging a sandwich to work was the norm?
Some people bring in leftovers from the night before, while others meal prep on the weekend for the upcoming week. Yet, the sandwich still remains an ever-popular, go-to lunch option.
In celebration of World Sandwich Day, Friday, November 3, sandwiches at work have come a long way from your basic PB and J.
The birth of the sandwich started in the 18th century when Anglo aristocrat John Matagnu, also known as the 4th Earl of Sandwich, was said to have told his valet to bring him meat tucked between two pieces of bread. Why? As the story goes, Lord Sandwich preferred food being served to him that way, so he wouldn’t have to eat with a fork while he played cards. And to his liking, it kept his cards from getting greasy, having meat served in between the bread.
Today, coworkers comparing sandwich options around the lunch table seems to be a great way to socialize. Similar to the grown-up version of trading sandwiches with your classmates in the elementary school cafeteria. Back then, my mom always made me healthy sandwiches — meat, along with lettuce and tomatoes for the veggie quotient, nestled in between whole wheat bread.
I always envied the kid who brought a chip sandwich (ruffled chips in between 2 pieces of white Wonder Bread). I always wanted to trade my ham BLT for one of those – it never happened. And when I asked my Mom to make me one, she gave me a stern lecture on the importance of nutrition and whipped out the chart with the pyramid of the food groups.
My co-workers’ sandwich creations are impressive, ranging from Asian fusion efforts of roasted duck and kimchee, to prosciutto and mortadella with provolone on focaccia. Foodie choices make for some interesting conversations to break up the busy work day, and usually result in aspirations of trying something new for lunch the next day.
If making sandwiches is a chore, try one of these neat places in the nation’s capital:
- The lunch counter at La Bottega Nicastro in the Byward Market
- Upper Crust on O’Connor St.
- Bread and Sons on Bank St. (just around the corner from Acart)
Expand your sandwich horizons among your coworkers this World Sandwich Day. After all, we all have to eat sometime.