Sandwich Platters: A Popular Bite Of History

Sandwich platters have been around for a long time. As children, we grabbed one or two off a plate made by our parents. Peanut butter and Jelly or peanut butter and jam or honey were some of the favorites. As adults, these still appealed but tastes changed. This has always been valid even throughout the centuries where different types of sandwiches were created and became temporarily popular.

Sandwich Platters in Fashion

In social gatherings, sandwiches of various types made their way through the crowds on fancy platters. Some were mere finger foods being present at gatherings throughout Western Europe since around the 19th century. In the 18th century, sandwiches were considered a popular late evening meal by the aristocrats of the period. There were sandwich platters but the general content was not what we have come to consider in North America, a sandwich.

With the onset of the Industrial Revolution sandwiches became popular for the working class. It was even being mass-produced and readily available as the art of baking bread was no longer something every woman did or had the time to do. Bread was bought and became part of lunches and suppers.

The sandwich eventually made its way to North America. Arriving in the 19th century, it was touted as a wholesome and even elaborate meal. This was the European version of the sandwich not what quickly became adopted by Americans. By the 20th century, the sandwich had become firmly entrenched in North American culture. Furthermore, it had become a popular meal and snack. It was easy to make and was considered both healthy and filling. Dozens of sandwich platters have since come to grace many a party event or sports gathering.

Sandwich Platters: Fashionable Content

At teas and many events where high society women dominated, it was once the fashion to serve sandwiches with cucumber fillings. The cucumber was sliced very thinly and the crusts were all cut off. At one time in suburbia, sandwich platters consisted of sandwiches that looked anything else but the traditional two pieces of bread. They were cut into shapes and daintily laid out on doilies on glass platters or plates.

Throughout the history of the sandwich, certain contents or fillings have defined the sandwich. Sandwiches have taken on various names based on individuals as well as the actual filling or content. Some have proven to be short lived or remained popular within a certain culture; others are found throughout North America – although there are frequently regional variations. Those you can find among the most popular sandwich platters in the USA include:

  • Po’ Boys
  • Chicken Salad Sandwich
  • Philly Cheese Steak
  • Reuben Sandwich
  • BLT
  • Ham and Cheese Sandwich
  • Hot Beef Sandwich
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Egg Salad Sandwich
  • Chicken Sandwich

These are all available singly or served on platters. At parties, sandwich platters frequently contain a mixture of the region’s most popular sandwiches. Make sure, when you hold your next informal event, that the caterer is aware of the tastes of your guests and can create several sandwich platters that appeal, are delicious and represent the very best of what a sandwich can be.

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