The 3rd November sees National Sandwich Day, and whilst it was originally an American celebration, it’s definitely spread and is fast becoming an anticipated date in the diaries of many across the globe, including the UK! These days, it’s often referred to as World Sandwich Day due to the global appreciation for sandwiches, and it’s obvious why the world would want to celebrate this marvellously delicious creation – the possibilities are endless!
With National Sandwich Day on the horizon, CDA wanted to have a little fun and find out what Britain’s sandwich eating habits are, as well as the country’s favourite sandwich.
And Britain’s favourite sandwich is…
1st Place – Cheese and Onion (12%)
2nd Place – Tuna Mayo (10%)
3rd Place – Cheese and Ham (4%)
A simple yet comforting choice, it certainly has its place on our table! Despite meat-based sandwiches being at the top of the list across most of the age groups we surveyed, cheese plays a huge part in shaping our favourites – accounting for 28.5% of all the individual ingredients chosen!
It seems we’re a butter-loving nation too, with a whopping 78% of respondents agreeing it has to be the foundation of every decent sandwich. And we have to take sandwich construction seriously. It appears there is an optimal amount of fillings for the perfect sandwich… two, to be exact! A huge 45% of the sandwiches shared had two fillings, we can’t argue with that!
One thing we did find fascinating was the trends between generations. It appears the younger generations aren’t the militant vegans they seem to have gained a reputation for, largely choosing meat as the main ingredient for their favourite sandwich. Gen X and Boomers on the other hand, preferred a more veggie/fishy vibe.
So, what other sandwiches are people fawning over? There were some interesting choices. Some were a little more obscure than others, but we’re not here to judge! Here are some of the favourite sandwiches our team of 400 participants put forward that you probably won’t be finding on supermarket shelves any time soon (or maybe you will, who knows):
- Lemon curd – A popular choice in Yorkshire, apparently.
- Cheese and onion crisps with salad cream – I guess the cheese and onion element is still there…
- Ham and pease pudding – They’d normally go together, so why not slap them on a sandwich?!
- Bread and butter – Interestingly, this one came up more than once…
- Smoked mackerel and salt & vinegar crisps – This feels like one of those “don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it” sandwiches…
- Spanish omelette – Because why not?
- Cheese and onion sandwich filler with crispy bacon – Might have to try this.
- Bacon, Brie and carrot chutney – DEFINITELY trying this.
Sandwiches have been around for centuries and there’s not many places you can go these days where you can’t pick one up in some form. The vibrant history of the humble sarnie is varied and some may say quite intriguing, so let’s take a look at some fun sandwich facts:
- Around 12 billion sandwiches are eaten in the UK alone every year.
- The sandwich is named after John Montagu (1718-92), the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who popularised eating beef between two slices of toasted bread when he wanted something convenient to eat whilst gambling. Though somewhat hazy, he isn’t actually regarded as the inventor of the sandwich. The inventor is said to be Hillel the Elder, a Jewish Rabbi from the 1st Century A.D who started the Passover tradition of putting meat and bitter herbs between pieces of matzah.
The idea was that meat represents abundance, the bitter herbs represent the difficulties of life and the matzah represents liberation and freedom – the metaphor being that all three should be taken together. The Hillel Sandwich is still a big part of Passover to this day.
- The earliest reference to a bacon sandwich as listed by the Oxford English Dictionary, was by George Orwell in 1931.
- The town of Sandwich in Kent, UK has no direct connection to sandwiches at all.
- The verb “to sandwich” is over 200 years old and was first used in 1815 to mean “to have a light meal”.
- In 2008, an attempt in Iran to beat the world record for the world’s biggest sandwich failed when the impatient crowd decided to eat it before it was measured… oops!
- According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a sandwich can’t be called a sandwich unless it contains at least 35% meat (but no more than 50%)… nope.
- The word “sandwich” is only used once in the entire works of Jane Austen. It’s in Mansfield Park, in case you were wondering.