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National Food Days

Happy National Sandwich Day!

It’s no surprise that we love good food (who doesn’t?), but we have a soft spot for sandwiches in particular. Thanks to the simplicity and versatility of sandwiches, the possibilities are endless. In fact, Americans eat more than 300 million sandwiches a day.

With National Sandwich Day approaching (November 3), we wanted to take the time to share a little history about our favorite food.

The sandwich‘s roots date back to 1762 in England, where John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, asked the house cook to bring him something he could eat without getting up from his seat. His seat was often at a card table, as he had a significant gambling problem. However, thanks to his problem, the sandwich was born.

While this is how the sandwich grew in popularity, it is likely that John Montagu gained inspiration for putting meats and other ingredients between bread in the Mediterranean. He travelled there and found that Turkish and Greek mezze platters were served with dips, cheeses, and meats, which were often “sandwiched” between and on layers of bread.

Months after the sandwich began its rise, Edward Gibbon mentioned the sandwich by name in a diary entry. He wrote that he had seen “twenty or thirty of the first men of the kingdom” in a restaurant eating sandwiches. While the sandwich was well established in England, a sandwich recipe did not appear in an American cookbook until 1815.

This was likely due to the fact that American cooks avoided culinary trends from England. The name “sandwich” comes from the British peerage system (which most Americans wanted to forget). Once the sandwich made its way to the U.S., the most popular version featured tongue. This is a perfect example of how the sandwich can be interpreted and created in many different ways.

For example, the Po’ Boy was born in New Orleans during the Great Depression. Two brothers, who were once streetcar workers, owned a sandwich shop. During a streetcar worker strike, they were feeding workers for free. When a hungry striker walked in, the clerks would yell, “Here comes another po’ boy” and the name stuck.

Another classic is the Sloppy Joe, which likely elicits memories of school cafeteria lunches. Around the same time the Po’Boy was created, a short order diner cook named Joe (go figure) developed the Sloppy Joe.

And then there’s the Reuben. Made of corned beef, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut, the sandwich was actually born in Omaha, Nebraska. It was named after one of the participants in a weekly poker game that took place in a hotel, and it was soon added to the menu. Down the line, it won a nationwide recipe contest, and the rest is history.

Share your favorite sandwich fun facts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest!

Pick up your favorite signature sandwich at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli today! Order online or dine with us in store. We are open weekdays from 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays from 10:30am-4:30pm.

How Did The Grilled Cheese Come About?

April is here, which means it’s National Grilled Cheese Month! We must admit, our love for the warm and gooey grilled cheese sandwich knows no limits. For our fellow grilled cheese lovers, here are some fun facts about the grilled cheese you may or may not have known.

  • Approximately three-quarters of people who buy sliced cheese make at least one grilled cheese per month.
  • The French have been making the famous Croque Monsieur (fried/grilled cheese and ham sandwich) since the early 1900s.
  • Our grilled cheese sandwich traces back to the 1920s, when the “father of sliced bread” invented a bread slicer that made distributing white bread easy and affordable.
  • Shortly before that, James L. Kraft patented processed cheese (his pasteurizing process ensured that cheese wouldn’t spoil, even when transported long distances). This “factory cheese” was nothing fancy; it was simply an inexpensive, nutritious, and scalable product.
  • Precursors to the grilled cheese include “American cheese filling sandwiches” which were simply a piece of bread topped with grated cheese.
  • In 1949, around the time when Kraft Singles were introduced, the second piece of bread was added on top, most likely to make the meal more filling.
  • Before it was named a “grilled cheese” most people simply called it a “toasted cheese” or “melted cheese” sandwich.
  • As far as cooking method, there are have been many different versions and techniques over the years:
    • A recipe for a “Melted Cheese” appeared in Sarah Tyson Rorer’s ‘Mrs. Rorer’s New Cookbook’ in 1902. The “melted cheese” was to be cooked in a hot oven.
    • In 1929, a “Toasted Cheese” recipe from Florence A. Cowles’ ‘Seven Hundred Sandwiches’ called for the ingredients to be broiled.
    • In the Boston Cooking School Cook Book, which came out in 1939, the ingredients of a “Toasted Sandwich” could either be broiled or sautéed in a frying pan coated with butter.
    • Irma S. Rombauer’s The Joy Of Cooking (1953) instructed readers to heat the bread and cheese in waffle iron for an easy meal.
  • In 2004, the online casino paid $28,000 for a half-eaten grilled cheese sandwich with the likeness of the Virgin Mary “burned” on to it. The original owner was a Florida woman who kept the sandwich intact for 10 years.
  • In 2006, American competitive eater Joey Chestnut won the World Green Chile Grilled Cheese Eating Competition. He consumed 34.5 grilled cheese sandwiches in one sitting!
  • Annually from 2009 until 2014, Los Angeles was host to the National Grilled Cheese Invitational. It was held during National Grilled Cheese Sandwich month with thousands of people in attendance, whether competing, judging, or enjoying the event.

Did we miss anything? Share your favorite facts about the grilled cheese with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also connect with us on Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest.

Get your grilled cheese sandwich fix at the Brick Market & Deli – Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona. Skip the line by using our online ordering system or visit us weekdays 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm