An Ode to the Sandwich

Last week’s British Sandwich Awards have got our mind firmly between two slices of bread, so today we’ve penned an ode to this humble treat and its many incarnations. From po-boys to paninis, burgers to baguettes, and wraps to rolls; if you put it between bread, it counts. Most cultures in the world have something that fits into this category. And almost all of them are delicious.

As with so much else, we are proud to take credit for the invention of the sandwich, but just as happy to admit that you guys have taken it to whole other levels. The burger is a phenomenon: a symbol, and object of national identity; while if it’s quantity you’re after, a deli wrap beats a finger sandwich any day.

Simplicity is the sandwich’s key ingredient. As such, examples can be found throughout history. But the quintessential British form –  in all its dainty deliciousness – originated in the late 17th century, taking its name a hundred years later from John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. After he ordered a dish of meat tucked between two pieces of bread, others began to order “the same as Sandwich“, and his place in culinary history was sealed.

John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.

Just as the American burger is eaten by all, the British sandwich is a most democratic meal. Whether two slices of supermarket bread containing wafer thin ham, or a hunk of home baked artisan loaf encasing slabs of hand-reared boar from the estate, every Brit (pauper and gent alike) will at some point partake in the glorious pleasure of the sandwich.

Branston Pickle

We thought we’d take a little break from our weekly guide of British chocolate bars, and bring you something a little more savory. Branston Pickle, named after the small village it was first produced Branston in 1922, is a vegetable relish, commonly partnered with cheddar cheese, or a ploughman’s lunch. The most important thing – it’s utterly delicious!

Always made using the same recipe, the specifics are kept under lock and key. However, it is known to contain swede, carrots, onions, cauliflower and gherkins, pickled in a sauce of vinegar, tomato, apple, dates, mustard, coriander, garlic, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Its tangy, vinegary flavor, balanced by the hum of spices, has won it millions of fans, including Catherine Zeta-Jones and Naomi Campbell – apparently!

This delicious example of traditional British flavors and cooking methods, almost had its day back in 2004, in what became known as the ‘Pickle Crisis’. A fire destroyed the Branston factory, cutting stocks in half and pushing prices up as devoted fans panic-bought. Now back at full production… Naomi will be happy!

We sell Branston Pickle in-store, and also serve it with our welsh rarebit, and cheese & pickle sandwich, both of which we serve in the restaurant and deliver. If you’re thinking about lunch, why not go for a crusty white sandwich, and see for yourself… it works a treat for a hangover!

Our cheese & pickle sandwiches are served sans salad as standard. If you'd like lettuce and tomato, just ask and we'll happily add it!