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1st Century B.C. - The first recorded sandwich was by the famous rabbi, Hillel the Elder, who lived during the 1st century B.C. He started the Passover custom of sandwiching a mixture of chopped nuts, apples, spices, and wine between two matzohs to eat with bitter herbs.
6th to 16th Century - During the Middle Ages, thick blocks of coarse stale bread called trenchers were used in place of plates. Meats and other foods were piled on top of the bread to be eaten with their fingers and sometimes with the aid of knives. At the end of the meal, one either ate the trencher or, if hunger had been satisfied, tossed the gravy-soaked bread to their dogs or given as alms
16th and 17th Century - The sandwich appears to have been simply known as "bread and meat" or "bread and cheese". These two phrases are found throughout English drama from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
1762 - The first written record of the word "sandwich" appeared in the journal of Edward Gibbons (1737-1794), an English author, scholar, and historian.
1762 - It is also said that the cooks at London's Beef Steak Club, a gentlemen's gaming club held at the Shakespeare Tavern, invented the first sandwich.
John Montague (1718-1792), the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, was a hardened gambler and usually gambled for hours at a time, sometimes refusing to get up even for meals. It is said that he ordered his valet to bring him meat tucked between two pieces of bread. Because Montague also happened to be the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, others began to order "the same as Sandwich!" The original sandwich was, in fact, a piece of salt beef between two slices of toasted bread.
1840 - The sandwich was introduced to America by Elizabeth Leslie (1787-1858). In her Directions for Cookery, she has a recipe for ham sandwiches that she suggested as a main dish.
1900's - The sandwich became very popular in the American diet when bakeries started selling pre-sliced bread, thus making sandwiches very easy to create. Sandwiches became an easy, portable meal for workers and schoolchildren alike.