Relax on Labor Day With a Satisfying Sandwich

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Americans love sandwiches. We consume about 300 million of them a day. It's a little ironic, given that our Declaration of Independence broke us away from Britain, where the modern sandwich was born. Sure, ever since the Egyptians starting making flatbreads around 8,000 BC, all manner of foods have been stuffed between, cradled in, or rolled up with some kind of bread. But food historians generally agree that the modern sandwich was born in England, southeast of London in the County Kent.

In 1762, as the story goes, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of the town of Sandwich, asked his cook to devise a meal that he could eat at the card table without utensils. Lord Montagu, it seems, had quite a gambling habit and spent much of his time playing cards. The inventive (and nameless) cook obliged, and with a handful of sliced meat nestled between two slices of bread, the Earl was in heaven. It became his lucky meal at the gambling table, and the "sandwich" grew in popularity throughout London and beyond.

Today, sandwiches take many different forms from Dagwoods and burgers to gyros, panini, Reubens, Monte Cristos, Croque Monsieurs, banh mi, BLTs, sloppy joes, cheesesteaks, grilled cheese, subs (or heroes, hoagies, grinders or po' boys, depending on where you're from), peanut butter & jelly, and even ice cream sandwiches. Americans seem to love them all. In particular, American laborers have a strong penchant for sandwiches. Portable, satisfying, and typically full of protein and energy-giving carbohydrates, what's not to love? Perhaps some of those old British traditions are worth keeping around!

This Labor Day, as summer comes to a close, raise a sandwich for the American worker. Trade laborers from steelworkers and carpenters to electricians, plumbers, machinists, warehouse workers, auto workers, and truckers help to keep this great country running. And sandwiches often help keep them running!

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Dave Joachim
Reuben Sandwich
Create the ultimate Reuben sandwich with this simple recipe. If you've never tried a Reuben sandwich then you're missing out on one of the greatest flavor combinations ever. Thinly sliced corned beef is layered thick on rye or pumpernickel bread along with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and a Russian-style dressing. read more
Italian Beef Sandwich
Classic Italian Beef Sandwiches are a popular regional specialty in Chicago and here is the recipe to make easy authentic Italian beef sandwiches at home featuring slow smoked beef, drippings, and peppers. Here's an authentic recipe and a rundown of the best places to buy these awesome sandwiches in Chicago. read more
italian sausage sandwich
Italian sausage reaches it's apex in the grilled Italian Sausage Sandwich with grilled sweet peppers and onions. read more
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Why wait for the McRib to return when you've got an amazing rib sandwich recipe? Learn more about the fabled McRib sandwich while creating one that takes it over the top. Ribs are smoked to perfection before the meat joins homemade pickles, caramelized onions, and custom BBQ sauce on a buttery brioche bun. read more
Grilled Cuban Sandwich
Slow smoked pork loin provides a unique twist on a Florida favorite in this grilled Cuban sandwich recipe. Thinly sliced smoked pork loin joins sliced ham, mustard, pickles, and Swiss cheese on Cuban style bread before being wrapped in foil, pressed, and grilled to crunchy perfection. read more
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Bobby Flay cooking in a kitchen
Leftover turkey has never tasted better than it does in this recipe for a grilled turkey Cuban sandwich from Food Network's Bobby Flay. Sliced turkey replaces traditional roast pork in this classic pressed sandwich, joining ham, mustard, pickle, Swiss cheese, and cranberry relish for an outstanding leftover sandwich. read more
pickle slices checkers
Here's a quick way to make pickles in 30 minutes. This quick and simple recipe makes sweet and sour pickle slices for sandwiches perfect for mounding on hamburgers, deli meats, pulled pork sandwiches, and more. This recipe is for making sandwich sized slices, but you can also use it to make spears or whole pickles. read more
Old Mountain 10125 Double Pie Iron
Use the old fashioned Old Mountain cast iron double pie iron, originally designed for filled pies, for making two perfectly toasted panini style grilled sandwiches at once. Just butter your sandwich on the outside, open up the hinged mold, insert the sandwiches and put it over the coals, campfire, or gas grill. read more

pastrami sandwich

Dave Joachim

AmazingRibs.com Editor David Joachim has authored, edited, or collaborated on more than 45 cookbooks including four on barbecue and grilling, making him a perfect match for a website dedicated to the “Science of Barbecue and Grilling.” His Food Science column has appeared in "Fine Cooking" magazine since 2011. 

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