1762, the Earl of Sandwich, an obsessive gambler, invented a snack that he could eat without silverware, quickly and neatly, without interrupting his game nor getting his cards.
Baguette, sliced bread – toasted or not – , pita, hamburger bun, tortilla, whole wheat or white…: sandwiches are based first and foremost on bread.
Just about any and every cooked or raw food item can find itself tucked inside the warm or cold bread: ham, pâté, cold cuts, cheese, fries, hamburger, egg salad, salami, onion, lettuce, tomato and more. There are also classic combos, like American children’s beloved “PB&J”, (peanut butter and jelly), or BLT, the more grown-up bacon, lettuce and tomato.
Sandwich, hamburger, hot dog, club-sandwich, quesadil-la, pan-bagnat, panini, bruschetta, crostini, kebab, wrap, ca-napés… are eaten around the world.
Born 250 years ago, this ready-to-eat dish is found in a thousand guises today, lending itself to everyone’s creativity, it can be accommodated to any sauce, and to any budget. A London restaurant even invented the “most expensive sandwich in the world”: a slice of wagyu, the legendary Japanese beef from Kobe, foie gras, black truffle mayonnaise, brie de Meaux, black pepper, rocket lettuce, and tomato mustard on slices of brioche: a trifling $150…
The classic salami-butter-pickle, once found at every bar in France, has now been overtaken by “sandwicheries” that do battle to enlarge the field of possible contents and containers for good old sandwiches. Workers of the world unite in turning their backs on the “dish of the day” eaten sitting down at a Mom-and-Pop diner, to meet on line at lunchtime at the Lina’s, Paul’s Brioche Dorée’s and more that are opening every day from London to To-kyo, New York and Shanghai.
Italy-France / 2008 / 52 min.
Director: Pierre Bourgeois
Production: STEFILM and ARTLINE FILMS
In association with:
FRANCE5 / LA7 / PLANETE/ RTBF / RTV SLOVENIJA / YLE TV1