A sandwich is a food item typically consisting of two pieces of bread between which are laid one or more layers of meat, vegetable, cheese, or other fillings, together with optional or traditionally provided condiments, sauces, and other accompaniments. The bread is often either lightly buttered, covered in a flavoured oil when baked, or oil is added into the sandwich to enhance flavour and texture.
The sandwich was named after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, an 18th-century English aristocrat, although it is unlikely to have been invented by him. Indeed a form of sandwich is attributed to the ancient Jewish sage Hillel the Elder, who is said to have put meat from the Paschal lamb and bitter herbs between two matzos during Passover.
It is said that Lord Sandwich was fond of this form of food because it allowed him to continue playing cards at cribbage while eating, because he did not want to get his cards sticky, from eating meat with his bare hands. The name of the earldom comes from that of the English town of Sandwich in Kent—from the Old English Sandwic, meaning "sand place". Nowadays some types of sandwich are too unwieldy to be held in one hand, thus defeating Montagu's original purpose, and must be eaten with a knife and fork, or at least with both hands. In some countries it is considered proper to always use cutlery to eat sandwiches.
However, the generally recognised way to eat a sandwich is with one's hands. Eating a sandwich with cutlery arguably defeats the purpose of this specific snack food.
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