Happy 250th Birthday To The Sandwitch


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MAY 25 , 2012           02.25 A.M.

Last week I came across an innocuous news item in the Mumbai edition of Times Of India that our snack – cum – food a.k.a. Sandwich completed 250 years of its existence .I never knew that Sandwich was nowhere in the scene before 1762 .

I never knew that Sandwich is the name of a town , a small and non – decrepit port town , in the Dover district and Kent County of United Kingdom .

I never knew that John Montagu , 4th Earl of Sandwich [ 1718 – 1792 ] , a British statesman , was the inventor of this world-famous food item . And that , he invented this snack – cum – food item inadvertently . He , apart from being inventor of Sandwich , was Postmaster General , First Lord of Admiralty and Secretary of State for the Northern Department .

John Mantagu - 4th Earl of Sandwich

John Montagu – 4th Earl of Sandwich

4th Earl of Sandwich was considered a daring man because in those conservative times , he ate with his fingers . As story goes , in May 1762 , while playing the game of cards , he ordered his valet to serve him beef tucked between two slices of bread so that he could eat while playing cards . Later on his friends also asked ” to have the same as Sandwich “ . And thus slowly , Sandwich came into being .

In the beginning it was a non – veg food item . But slowly other forms of Sandwich also came into being . Veg Sandwich is another popular form .

Veg Sandwich

Veg Sandwich

Soon grilled Sandwich made its entry in the scene . Later on it was improvised further and grilled Cheese Sandwich came into being . Club Sandwich is the another variant , which is very popular .

Grilled Sandwich

Grilled Sandwich

Club Sandwich

Club Sandwich

As its popularity grew , it reached various other countries . Apart from Cuban and Turkish variants , Chicken Shwarma of Lebanon is the most popular , world – famous and known variant of the original Sandwich . Tuna Fish Sandwich is another hugely popular improvised version , which is savoured by rich and famous .

Cuban Sandwich

Cuban Sandwich

Tuna Fish Salad Sandwich

Tuna Fish Salad Sandwich

Turkey Sandwich

Turkey Sandwich

മലയാളം: Sharma sandwitch

Shwarma Sandwich of Lebanon

Popularity of Sandwich as a convenient food item never diminished . In the modern era , multi – national food giants also jumped in the fray . American fast – food giant McDonald’s was the first to capitalize on the popularity of Sandwich and came with the Hamburger and Burger variants , which took the world by storm . Started in May 15 , 1940 , this fast – food American giant has now more than 33,000 outlets world – wide .

Logo of McDonald's

Logo of McDonald’s

Hamburger

Hamburger

Burger

Burger

Subway is another multi – national food – chain , which made a late entry and soon spread its tentacles world – wide . Unlike McDonald’s , it is dedicated to Sandwiches only . Stablished in August 28 , 1965 , it has now more than 36,833 outlets in 100 countries .

Logo of Subway

Logo of Subway

Subway Sandwiches

Subway Sandwiches

Subway Sandwich

Subway Sandwich

Club Sandwich With Fries

Club Sandwich With Fries

In modern times , as popularity of Sandwiches grew further , there were several inventions like electric toasters to facilitate its making more easier , fast and convenient .

Sandwich Toaster

Sandwich Toaster

Later on ketchup and various kinds of Mayonnaise also came and people started using them as toppings and fillings with Sandwiches . Among ketchup , Heinz is the most famous and renowned ketchup company . It is followed by Maggi and our own Indian Kissan brands . Smith & Jones is another lesser known brand of ketchup available in India .

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise

Heinz Tomato Kechup

Heinz Tomato Ketchup

Maggi Tomato Kechup

Maggi Tomato Ketchup

Kissan Tomato Ketchup

Kissan Tomato Ketchup

Smith & Jones Samosa Chutney

Smith & Jones Samosa Chutney

Indian palate is very familiar with mustard . We use it in pickles and other food items . So in India , a peculiar version of Sandwich emerged . Sweet Mustard ketchup and its Bengali cousin Kasundi emerged as extra fillings for Sandwiches with cucumber , tomato and onion  .

Mustard

Sweet Mustard Ketchup

Kasundi of Bengal

Kasundi of Bengal

Though use of various Jam , Jelly and marmalade with bread pieces can’t be called Sandwich in true sense of the term , but for sweet – loving Indians , it was a popular option and it has now become a ubiquitious food item of our homes for morning and evening snacks . Our own desi Kissan is present here also and Kissan Jam is one of the highest selling product  .

Kissan Jam

Kissan Jam

Hawaiian Sun Jelly

Hawaiian Sun Jelly

Savaille Orange Marmalade

Savaille Orange Marmalade

Hazelnut Spread , Peanut Spread , Cheese Spread and several other spreads are also available to sweeten our morning breakfast . You can’t call them Sandwiches but their popularity in India would have amazed Earl of Sandwich .

Hazelnut Filling

Hazelnut Filling

In these 250 years of its existence , Sandwich has taken many avatars . I would love to provide another version of Sandwich , which is popular in my house . I can call it Bhojpuri version or variant of Sandwich . Take two pieces of bread and roast it properly . Put lavish spread of butter on the pieces .Then take two extra ripe bananas and cut then in round pieces . Now  put pieces of extra ripe banana as fillings between two pieces of bread . Sprinkle salt and black pepper on it . Your Bhojpuri variant of Sandwich is ready for a bite . If you wish you can grill it also . So Bhojpuri Banana Sandwich and Bhojpuri Banana Grilled Sandwich are now available . Do try them .

I am sure , after hearing about this Bhojpuri Variant of Sandwich , John Montagu , the 4th Earl of Sandwich must be turning in his grave .

John Montagu4th Earl of Sandwich - Originator of Sandwich

John Montagu – 4th Earl of Sandwich – Originator of Sandwich

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

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Pongal the Food ; Not the Festival


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JANUARY 28 , 2012           01.40 A.M.

I always knew that Pongal is very important festival of Tamil Nadu . During my Allahabad days and then during my stay in Deoria , my native place , I came to know more about Pongal , the festival . This festival is akin to Makar Sankranti of North India .

An office in Tamil Nadu decorated for the fest...

Decoration for Pongal Festival

Pongal’s pan – Indian appeal is now known to all . Now even North Indians greet their Tamil friends on the occasion of Pongal .

Recently I went to Tamil Nadu for pilgrimage . Every single Tamil in the restaurant was ordering a dish for breakfast . It was called Pongal . I thought I am listening something else or simply I am not understanding the word properly . When a waiter approached me , he simply asked , what do you have sir ? Pongal – Dosai or Pongal – Vadai ? I was curious . I knew some of the South Indian delicacies like ; Dosa , Idali , Vada , Uthappam and Upma . I have eaten Appam also with Gassi , vegetables made in South Indian style . In deserts , I am fond of Thallaneer Payasam and Madurai Halwa . But Pongal ? I have never heard of this delicacy . Out of sheer curiosity , I ordered the dish .

Pongal

I was shocked beyond belief when I ate it . It was so delicious .

It is a dish made of coarse rice cooked with lot of water . More than normal water is used , so that it should  not become dry as normal rice . Pepper , ginger , salt and curry leaves are used to make it spicy . If you wish , you can add some dry fruits also to make it more tasty.

English: Pongal at City Home

Pongal Being Cooked

It is served hot with Rasam and Chutney . I had my sumptuous breakfast of Pongal – Vadai and immediately became addicted . I ate it daily till my last day of stay there.

I am not a food – writer . So I cannot write much about the elaborate cooking process of Pongal and my prose is also not very lucid . It is a lay man’s account of the dish , which is tasty beyond belief .

Pongal - Vadai

I got hooked to Pongal and shall remain so till the last breath of my life .

In a Restaurant at Vaitheeswarankoil , Tamil Nadu

 

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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1oo Years of Sliced Bread


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JANUARY 04 , 2012           00.15 A.M.

Just read a very interesting news item in today’s ” Mumbai Mirror ” and was tempted to write a blog .

Sliced bread completes 100 years in 2012 . It has become a part of our lives and no one thinks that it was non – existent before 100 years . But the fact of the matter is that sliced bread first surfaced in 1912 . Now it has become an inseparable part of our lives .

 

Sliced bread

Sliced Bread

American jeweller Otto Rohwedder is credited to invent the machine to cut the loaf into pieces . He invented the machine in 1912 . But unfortunately this primitive machine was destroyed in a fire .

 

English: Birthplace of Sliced bread in Chillic...

Birth Place of Sliced Bread in Missouri , U.S.A.

Otto Rohwedder took another 16 years and made another bread slicer machine in 1928 . This machine sliced the bread as well as wrapped it too .

 

1930 photograph from the magazine Popular Scie...

Bread Slicing Machine in 1930

Within 5 years of this invention unsliced breads started fading .

I remember my childhood days in Deoria , Uttar Pradesh . I used to visit a Sindhi bakery shop to buy loaf , unsliced bread . The Sindhi baker used to cut that loaf into pieces as per our demand . Later on in the 60s sliced bread made its entry in Deoria and since then it has become almost a part of my life .

 

Two loaves of pain de mie. The loaf at right w...

Unsliced Bread

Difficult to imagine a life without sliced bread . And now I know the full meaning of the proverb ; ” the best thing since sliced bread “ or ” the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped “.

Thrilled and happy that 2012 is its centenary year .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

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