THE BRITISH may have invented the sandwich, but the Irish have certainly made it their own. As it’s Sandwich Week until May 14, here are some of Ireland’s all time favourite ‘sangers’.
1. Ham Sandwich
Ah the classic ham (often pronounced ‘hang’) sandwich, a ubiquitous fixture in the school lunchboxes of Irish children
2. Jam Sandwich
The Americans have peanut butter and jelly, but we prefer to keep it plain with a good old jam sandwich. Your parents /grandparents will delight in telling you this was a ‘treat’ in their day
3. Crisp Sandwich
Combine two of Ireland’s favourite things- sliced pan and a bag of Cheese & Onion Taytos and you’ve got a culinary delight, usually savoured at the beach with a light sprinkling of sand
4. Chip Sandwich
Over here they call it a chip butty, but what’s in a name? Irish people have been jamming chips in between two slices of bread and smothering it with tomato ketchup for years when they need a carb on carb overload
5. Sausage Sandwich
We’re known to love a good fry up, but since variety is the spice of life then why not bang two sausies into a sandwich and add brown sauce or ketchup. That’ll sort ya out
6. Banana Sandwich
Banana and bread are odd bedfellows but this concoction proves there is nothing an Irish person wouldn’t try with a slice of bread. Oddly, it kind of works
7. Sugar Sandwich
Without sounding all Angela’s Ashes, a little sugar sprinkled on a slice of bread was pretty popular in Ireland back in the day. Today, the simple sugar sandwich sounds antediluvian in an age of croissants, cronuts and flagels (that’s a flatbread crossed with and a bagel btw)
8. Bread and Butter Sandwich
About as minimalist a sandwich as you are likely to find. Is a sandwich really a sandwich without any fillings? That’s a philosophical question for you to ponder in your own time
9. Corned Beef
Meat from a tin? Yum! Some people probably consider a corned beef sandwich nostalgic, but personally I’d classify it as prison food
10. Chicken Fillet Roll
Irish people go crazy for a chicken fillet roll. If you don’t believe me go into a Spar, Londis or any deli at lunchtime and check out the queues of people hungry for the addictive baguette stuffed with chicken, cheese, mayo, lettuce…and possibly heroin.
11. The Breakfast Roll
So famous in Ireland, there’s even a song about it. Yes, comedian Pat Shortt immortalised the undisputed pinnacle of Irish culinary achievement in the catchiest tune since The Birdie Song. As the song details, a jumbo breakfast roll contains the ingredients of a full Irish breakfast (egg, sausages, rashers, black & white pudding, sauce) all squashed into a roll. A heart attack waiting to happen.
Watch Pat Shortt perform the Jumbo Breakfast Roll song live here:
Eight facts about the Big British Sandwich business:
1. British consumers manage to munch their way through over 11.5 billion sandwiches each year. If you laid each one end to end, they would go around the world about 44 times
2. More than half of these were made and eaten in the home
3. More sandwiches are consumed in hot weather than when it is wet or cold
4. Well over 3,500,000,000 sandwiches are purchased from UK retail or catering outlets each year
5. We paid over £7,850,000,000 for them – that’s as much as 36,500 brand new Ferraris
6. That means the average price of a sandwich almost £2.07
7. Britain’s biggest sandwich retailer by £value in the UK is the American franchise chain Subway which has shot ahead of the UK’s biggest retailers, including Tesco, Greggs and Marks & Spencers, in the sandwich stakes in the value of the sandwiches they sell. However, Tesco outsells them in the numbers of sandwiches sold by several million
8. In the UK there are over 300,000 people employed in the sandwich industry.