In London, sandwiches are inevitable. They are everywhere. Sandwiches are a defining factor of London life. So much so, that they have become, like Big Ben, a fixture of the landscape. You cannot avoid sandwiches. This is not a phenomenon that is limited to London, indeed it can be seen across England. Steadfastly, the prepackaged sandwich marches across the land. Sandwiches are part of the national consciousness.
This is not necessarily a bad. It might be boring to have sandwiches as your preferred lunch option, but it is nonetheless not a bad thing.
Before we resume our thrilling sandwich themed discussion, let us have a look at its history. I cannot help myself, after all I am studying history.
Many of you will be familiar with the story of Lord Sandwich. He was a slightly eccentric aristocrat. The versions diverge, but the story is essentially the same. Lord Sandwich, undoubtedly secure with a vast fortune and a lot of time on his hands, liked to pursue his hobby enthusiastically. Some say he played cards all day. Others, that he played chess.
The crux of the matter is, His Grace disliked to be disturbed. Unfortunately, this included eating. His devoted manservant, or butler, had to come up with a solution to ensure his employer did not die of starvation, and his employment was not abruptly terminated.
Now to make a long story short, this helpful and devoted servant, this ingenious individual created the sandwich. And in a spirit of selfless grandeur, he named his new invention after his master. Luckily for posterity, Lord Sandwich experienced hunger before any other human necessity.
Now this is a pretty long, and some might say facetious, way of talking about sandwiches. Nevertheless, they are a hallmark of the London scenery. Especially for someone, like me, who is accustomed to the north american fast food landscape.
The point of this blog post, and yes there is a point, is to encourage you to go and try the many places where you can eat delightful and delectable sandwiches in London. The varieties are simply endless. From Coronation Chicken to Posh Cheddar. From the plastic-wrapped number at your nearest grocery store, to the handcrafted marvel at your local sandwich shop. London has really got it all.
You may one day tire of sandwiches, but when you do, you will find a new variety, you will find a new shop, and you will gladly devour your new find.
Have a break, eat a London sandwich!
And by the way, in case you were wondering, there is such a thing as the British Sandwich Association. And yes, they have a website.