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Take two slices of bread and pack with delicious fillings. It seems like common sense, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that the sandwich we currently know and love came into existence. The dish is named after John Montagu, an English aristocrat and the Earl of Sandwich, who asked a servant to bring him meat between two slices of bread – allowing him to continue playing cards without getting greasy fingers from eating. The sandwich spread amongst aristocracy and eventually was taken up by the working classes as a cheap and easily transportable snack. Forms of sandwiches, however, predate this event by many thousands of years, appearing in a variety of ancient cultures. Flatbreads are commonly used to scoop or wrap up foods in Western Asian and Northern Africa, and in the Middle Ages thick slices of bread called trenchers acted as plates to catch the juices and scraps of meals. Modern sandwiches have developed far beyond their humble origins, growing to encompass a huge range of ingredients and combinations. Well known examples include the club sandwich, made with chicken, bacon, lettuce tomato and mayonnaise, the BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) and the trendy Reuben, an American creation that combines corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut on rye. Whatever your tastes – from simple Vegemite and butter on white sliced bread to pulled pork on artisan sourdough – Australian sandwich shops can deliver.

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