This book has to go straight into my top 10 current favourites. I asked sometime ago to review this book and I am very glad that I did! Sandwiches were officially invented in Britain, it was the Earl of Sandwich who they are named after, and the British town Sandwich is about an hour and half away from me in Kent. Since I went to University in Kent I have visited Sandwich myself.
Now, in our household my husband’s daily packed lunch always consists of a sandwich, boring but true. Unfortunately, despite being a food blogger, I end up doing the same type of sandwich, cheese and pickle or ham and mustard. I do use mature cheddar and homemade chutney/pickle, home cooked ham and Dijon mustard, so they are tasty sandwiches, but with my new book I can easily find ideas to fill our packed lunches.
My biggest issue with making packed lunches is that after cooking dinner, household chores, baking with my son, in the evening I haven’t got the energy to do much when making sandwiches (I always make them last thing at night so they are ready for the next day). I do try to meal plan my lunches but there is only so much time I have to get myself organised. With the Encyclopedia of Sandwiches all the thinking has been done for me. I can choose a few ideas, either using ingredients I already have, or by adding a few things to my shopping list and suddenly our packed lunches will be tastier and more exciting.
One reason I really like this book is the photography. Matt Armendariz shot all the photos, he is somebody I follow on twitter and it was lovely to see some of his work firsthand. I also like that each sandwich has some explanation, a little bit of history, which makes this book an interesting read inside and outside the kitchen.
I cooked the Devilled Ham. I learnt that this was popular in the 1970s and is called Devilled Ham because the heat in the sandwich refers to the Devil’s fiery den. Of course you can adjust the heat to your taste. This recipe was really easy for me to put together because I used my usual ham and had the rest of the ingredients in my store cupboard. My husband loved his sandwich and everyone I’ve told about this recipe have said they’d like to try it. I will be making it for the next party I have as not only is it unusual, it is delicious and by the nature of the recipe it makes the ham go twice as far so it is good on the purse strings too.
I think The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches is essential for every British kitchen. Sandwiches are a part of our daily lives, so we should mix it up a bit and make sure we don’t keep on eating the same sandwich everyday.