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A bacon sandwich

It’s British Sandwich Week from Monday 10th May. It handily coincides with National Bread Week and National Doughnut Week, making mid-May quite the gluten-heavy month. We’ve taken a look at the history and glory of the humble bread-based wonder snack, because, well, why not?

According to legend, the sandwich first came to be when John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich was busy gambling, and had no time to stop and have some dinner. He asked for some meat to be put in between two slices of bread, so he could snack while he gambled. It blew people’s minds all right, and so they named this creation after the Earl and the Montagu was born! Sorry, Sandwich.

It is estimated that sarnie lovers in the UK buy around 2 billion of pre-packed snacks every year, with a value approaching £3.5 billion.

That’s nothing compared to the home sandwich market. It represents around 24.2% of all sandwiches and estimated to be worth around £4.2 billion

Around 58% of all sandwiches are consumed in the home.

At least 66% of all UK citizens will have at least one sandwich a year.

In Spain, the word sandwich is borrowed from the English language. It refers to a food item made with English sandwich bread, and called a bocadillo.

Over 30% of all pre-prepared sandwiches in the UK sold have chicken as a part of their ingredients. For a spot of perspective, that’s over 20,550 tonnes of bird. Fish (usually tuna and prawn concoctions) comes in second with 18%. Surprisingly cheese only managed third with 15%, then it’s ham (12%) and trusty old bacon (10%) rounding off the Top Five.

The most popular fillings in the UK at the end of 2014, were Ploughman’s (5), Chicken Salad (4), BLT (3), Prawn Mayonnaise at 2 and Chicken & Bacon at the top.

The home sandwich filling Top Five is a different matter altogether, with cheese reigning supreme over ham, with poultry, jam and bacon (not altogether God forbid) making up the quintet.

For more filling suggestions, get yourself the Bluffer’s Guide to Food®