John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, loved long card games so much, he didn’t want to interrupt his play to stop and eat. During one particular play session in 1762, the Earl was enjoying an unprecedented 24-hour gambling streak. Not wanting to break his momentum, he told his chef to prepare something similar to the food he had seen during his travels to the Eastern Mediterranean: grilled pita bread stuffed with meat. This dish required no utensils, keeping one hand free to continue playing. Montagu’s chef prepared cold beef – the preferred meat of the English at the time – between two slices of toast. His friends caught on and would order “the same as Sandwich!” Through Montagu’s influence, this easy-to-handle meal became quite popular for the English gentry at late night parties – so much so, that it took his very title.
Thus, the ‘sandwich’ was born.
If he’d taken a break and gotten up to make his own sandwich, maybe he’d be better known for his card skills?