Food Facts Many people think the sandwich came from England in the eighteen century.

Others say sandwiches are an American invention. The truth is that this type of food has been with us for thousands of years. It is only its name that is not very old. A British nobleman named John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich (1718- 1792), loved to play cards and didn’t like to stop his game for meals. When he was hungry, he asked his servant to bring him a piece of meat between two slices of bread; this way he didn’t have to use a fork and knife, and his hands stayed clean. He gave the sandwich its name, and this way of eating soon became popular in Europe. Long before then, however, the ancient Romans enjoyed eating meat between two slices of bread. For centuries, people in the Middle East have stuffed barbecued lamb and other tasty things into pita, a type of flat bread with a pocket. A long time before the Spaniards arrived in the New World in the sixteenth century, Mexicans had their own version of the sandwich; thin, round tortillas filled with beans, eggs, and cheese, and then rolled up. What country do you think of when you hear the words hot dog and hamburger? The United States? These kinds of sandwiches are very popular in the U.S., but they were not born there. Historians disagree on the origins of the hamburger. One story is that in the nineteenth century many Europeans immigrated to America on the German ship Hamburg-Amerika, which served a famous kind of Hamburg beef. The beef was hard, so it was usually chopped up before it was cooked. Nobody knows how the “Hamburg” steak got between two pieces of bread, but the hamburger has been part of the American diet since the beginning of the twentieth century. The hot dog also came from Germany. During the middle Ages, European sausage makers developed local recipes and named their sausages after their cities. In 1852, the butchers of Frankfurt created the frankfurter, also called the dachshund sausage because it looked like the pet dog of one of the butchers. When the frankfurter travelled to Amerika, both its names went with it. Vendors sold it at baseball games, shouting “Get your red-hot dachshund sausage!” A cartoonist named Tad Dorgan drew one for his newspaper in 1906. He couldn’t spell the word dachshund, so he wrote hot dog instead. This name quickly replaced the others.

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