The mixed sandwich, the most famous in the world
For breakfast, sometimes for lunch, for snacks, for dinner with friends or at dawn, when you return home after a long night of partying … All those moments could have a common denominator: the mixed sandwich.
Something as (apparently) simple as two slices of sliced bread with York ham and cheese grilled is, at the same time, one of our favorite (and inflatable) snacks of all time and at any time .
Three ingredients: bread, cooked ham and cheese , which often represent the most basic and accessible happiness.
So much so that the mixed sandwich even has its own world day: it is celebrated on April 12.
But do we know what their story is? How and when does the mixed sandwich arise?
Origin of the sandwich (mixed)
Let’s start with the etymological origin of the sandwich. According to the dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy, a sandwich is a “sandwich made with two slices of sliced bread between which ham, cheese, sausage, vegetables or other foods are placed.”
But above the meaning of sandwich, the RAE already gives us the key, the clue to go back to the origins of the sandwich. Of English origin, the royal academy introduces us to its own name: that of John Montagu (1718-1792), fourth Earl of Sandwich .
The Sandwich Islands thus name the protagonist of this article. And even there, until the Sandwich Islands in the 18th century, the history of this simple sandwich goes back . They say that the Earl of Sandwich’s passion for card games would have led him to neglect his meals.
Concerned about this, his servants managed to prepare food for him to eat while still playing cards. In this way, the count got used to using two slices of bread to avoid staining his fingers with the cold cuts and cold meats that were used to eat him, allowing him to satisfy his appetite while still playing like a true British gentleman.
History of the mixed sandwich
But there are other theories about the history of the mixed sandwich , specifically. It is the “ ham and cheese sandwich ”, an “invention” that appears, according to the Americans, in the baseball stadiums of New York at the end of the 19th century .
They were, they say, the only type of food for sale there during games. They began to be commercialized even before the “hot dogs”, the famous hot dogs that are sold today in every corner of the city that never sleeps.
The Cuban sandwich
Other historians go back to the 1930s to point to the mixed sandwich as a version of the Cuban sandwich , made with cheese, pork and ham, as well as pickles and mustard.
At that time, at the beginning of the 20th century, this hypercaloric food became popular on the island. An idea that was so successful that it reached Florida.
Today two cities in that state, Tampa and Miami, are still at odds for the authorship of the famous sandwich. The truth is that it seems that it is from Cuba that the name of mixed comes .
The croque monsieur
In Europe, we locate the origin of the mixed sandwich in France. It became popular in 1910 under the name ” croque-monsieur ” which translates to “crispy lord” .
It was a sandwich made in the oven in order to make it crisp. Although, unlike what we know as a mixed sandwich, the “croque.monsieur” is covered with bechamel (and baked, as we said).
In Spain, during the era of literary cafes and their usual 19th-century gatherings , it was the cafes in Madrid and Barcelona that introduced the mixed sandwich. With it they began to replace the toasts that accompanied the coffee with milk.
It is very likely that the introduction of the mixed sandwich in Spain comes from the Spaniards in Cuba, although we cannot assure it for lack of data.
The bikini or bikini
In the cafeterias of Catalonia, this type of sandwich is called a bikini or bikini , but not because of its relationship with the two-piece swimsuit, but because of the name of a dance hall opened in 1953, the Bikini Room on the Diagonal from Barcelona , where his special sandwich was.
The hall and the sandwich became so fashionable at that time that its name spread throughout the city.
At the end of the 20th century, the mixed sandwich was already so established in our country that even many processed food companies began to market them in packs, refrigerated and ready to prepare on the grill.
How to make a good mixed sandwich
But not all mixed sandwiches are perfect. Getting an exquisite mixed sandwich has a trick . The fact that it is a simple dish does not mean that it can be prepared in any way.
What’s more, I don’t know about you, but I always know better the mixed sandwiches in the cafeteria than the ones I make at home … it must be due to the multiple substances that accumulate their plates …
- The elaboration of a mixed sandwich is simple if we start from the base of the ingredients that make it up. Two slices of sliced bread, the cheese slices (to the consumer’s taste ; although there are countless cheeses for sale, the most common is to use the specific cheese for sandwich, the bar cheese) and the slices of cooked ham that we want .
- Once our sandwich is assembled, we put it on the griddle, toaster or sandwich maker until the cheese melts and the bread is golden. It can also be made over low heat in the pan.
- The trick: spread the bread slices with butter on the two outer surfaces. But if you want to give a light and special touch to your mixed sandwich, you can substitute butter for mayonnaise.
- Once the bread is golden and the cheese inside is melted , we can serve and enjoy our mixed sandwich.
- Although it is commonly served divided diagonally, in two triangles, and with cutlery, there is no greater pleasure than tasting a good mixed sandwich with your hands …
At this point, just one tip (very basic on the other hand): the most important thing when it comes to making the perfect mixed sandwich is, without a doubt, the quality of the products we choose.
Did you like it? Share it!
Share Tweet Pin it To print
Receive a weekly email with new recipes and yummy recommendations.