Bread has been eaten with any meat or vegetables since Neolithic times. For example, the ancient Jewish sage Hillel the Elder is said to have placed meat from the Paschal lamb and bitter herbs between two pieces of matzah (or flat, unleavened bread) during Passover. During the Middle Ages, thick slabs of coarse and usually stale bread, called "trenchers", were used as plates. After a meal, the food-soaked trencher was fed to a dog or to beggars, or eaten by the diner. Trenchers were the precursors of open-face sandwiches. The immediate cultural precursor with a direct connection to the English sandwich was to be found in the Netherlands of the 17th century, where the naturalist John Ray observed that in the taverns beef hung from the rafters which they cut into thin slices and eat with bread and butter laying the slices upon the butter, explanatory specifications that reveal the Dutch belegde broodje was as yet unfamiliar in England.
Initially perceived as food men shared while gaming and drinking at night, the sandwich slowly began appearing in polite society as a late night meal among the aristocracy. The sandwich's popularity in Spain and England increased dramatically during the 19th century, when the rise of an industrial society and the working classes made fast, portable, and inexpensive meals essential.
It was at the same time that the sandwich finally began to appear outside of Europe. In the United States, the sandwich was first promoted as an elaborate meal at supper. By the early 20th century, as bread became a staple of the American diet, the sandwich became the same kind of popular, quick meal as was already widespread in the Mediterranean.
What is your favorite breakfast sandwich? Leave me a comment. I love hearing from you.
Ham And Egg Sandwich
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.
8 slices bread, toasted
4 eggs, beaten
deli ham, 6 slices per sandwich
2 tablespoons butter
4 slices American cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
Beat eggs until smooth. In skillet melt butter over low heat. Pour eggs into preheated skillet, season with salt and pepper. Stir. Remove from heat when there is no more liquid on bottom of skillet. Spread butter on toast, add American cheese, deli ham and scrambled eggs. Enjoy!
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