The Origins of the Sandwich

Andrew Sommerhalder is a successful Canadian chartered professional accountant and certified general accountant who serves as group controller with Toronto’s Envision. In his free time, Andrew Sommerhalder enjoys searching Toronto for the best sandwich. He also seeks out quality sandwiches wherever he travels.

The sandwich, as it is known in England, Canada, and America, entered popular culture through British politician and military leader John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. Legend has it that Montagu was an inveterate gambler who would spend long hours at the card table. He instructed the cook to bring him a meal that he could eat while he played, and thus the sandwich was born.

Although there is no reliable evidence that Montagu engaged in heavy gambling, historians generally agree that was very fond of salt beef and often ate it between two pieces of toasted bread. This almost certainly gave birth to the Western notion of the sandwich.

However, Montagu was far from the first person to place edible fillings between two bread slices. In fact, he likely got the idea from his journeys to the Mediterranean, where natives routinely “sandwiched” items such as meat and cheese between layers of bread.

Toronto-Based Controller Andrew Sommerhalder