, LONDON, May 13 – The British town of Sandwich will Sunday stage a dramatic re-enactment of the moment when the town’s earl was said to have invented the sandwich, to mark the 250th anniversary of the bread-based meal.
Dressed in 18th-century costume, actors will recreate the night when the John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich — a rapacious card-player — “called for a slice of beef between two toasted pieces of bread so that he could carry on gaming uninterrupted”, said a website for the event.
Legend states that others began asking for “the same as Sandwich!” and thus named what was to become a classic foodstuff.
The southeastern English port town is also holding a sandwich-making competition and concerts of the “bawdy and lively tunes” favoured by the earl, who also had a “penchant for dressing in Turkish robes”, the website said.
The current earl will host a huge sandwich lunch in tribute to “the fourth earl of Sandwich who, 250 years ago, had his masterly inspiration in creating the universal fast food the world knows and loves,” a poster said.
Historians are sceptical of the claim that the earl actually invented the sandwich, arguing it belongs to a long line of bread-based snacks stretching back much further than the 18th century, but this has not stopped the town from celebrating its local hero.