The history of the sandwich

Bakers Maison - History of the Sandwich

The humble sandwich. The ‘sando’.
Two slices with the hearty stuff in between.

The sandwich is as versatile as it is ubiquitous. Enjoy it however you may, but the fact is that you could walk into almost any foodservice business anywhere in the world – or indeed almost any home anywhere in the world – and the supplies would most likely be on hand to fix you a sandwich of some kind.

Tracing the rise of the sandwich

The oft-told story goes that Montagu, a prominent naval commander and patron to Captain James Cook, was unusually rowdy and laddish for a gentlemen of his esteemed social status.

In 1762 (some 256 years ago) while gambling at the cards table late one night he called for the kitchen to bring him beef served between slices of bread.

This was a peculiar request in 1762, but it was one that would allow Montagu to eat while continuing to play cards. Intrigued, Montagu’s gambling mates supposedly then asked the kitchen for, “the same as Sandwich”.



Bakers Maison - History of the Sandwich

A muddled history

While most chalk up the invention of the sandwich to Montagu, the idea of placing other types of food in between or on top of pieces of bread or bread-like substances to roughly form a meal predates 1762…by a margin of centuries.

Way back in the 1st Century B.C., Jewish rabbi Hillel the Elder created a Passover custom that involved putting a concoction of chopped nuts, apples, spices, and wine between two matzohs (brittle, flat bread). This led to what is now known as the Hillel sandwich. So, technically this marks the invention of the first recorded sandwich, even if wasn’t christened with the name ‘sandwich’.


The future is unwritten

While the humble sandwich has a surprisingly storied and long-winded history behind it, it also has plenty of uncharted territory ahead of it. People have been folding sliced bread around pieces of food for centuries and will conceivably continue to do so for centuries to come.

Who knows what incarnation of this versatile, universal culinary creation will be the sandwich of the day in another 256 years. Perhaps by then we’ll have figured out once and for all whether eating the crust really does put hair on your chest.


Bakers Maison is a specialist manufacturer of French style breads and has been creating an assortment of breads for sandwiches using the same authentic French recipes since 1998.

Croissants Gluten-Free Milk Buns Sourdough



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4th April 2019

Bakers Maison : Breads & Baguettes

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