A sandwich is a food item consisting of one or more types of food, such as vegetables, sliced cheese or meat, placed on or between slices of bread, or more generally any dish wherein two or more pieces of bread serve as a container or wrapper for some other food. The sandwich was originally a portable food item or finger food which began to be popular in the Western World. Today sandwiches in various versions are found worldwide.
Sandwiches are a popular type of lunch food, taken to work, school, or picnics to be eaten as part of a packed lunch. The bread can be used plain, or it can be coated with one or more condiments such as mayonnaise or mustard to enhance the flavours and texture. As well as being homemade, sandwiches are also widely sold in restaurants and cafes, and are sometimes served hot as well as cold. There are both savoury sandwiches, such as deli meat sandwiches, and sweet sandwiches, such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
The sandwich is considered to be the namesake of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, because of the claim that he was the eponymous inventor of this food combination. The Wall Street Journal has described it as Britain’s “biggest contribution to gastronomy”.