Food and drink: All sandwiched in 

Back to school, back to work, and back to sandwich basics

Up in the mornin' and out to school

The teacher is teachin' the Golden Rule

American history and practical math

You study' em hard and hopin' to pass

Workin' your fingers right down to the bone

And the guy behind you won't leave you alone

Ring ring goes the bell

The cook in the lunchroom's ready to sell

You're lucky if you can find a seat

You're fortunate if you have time to eat

Back in the classroom open your books

Gee but the teacher don't know

How mean she looks...

Chuck Berry pretty much had it right in his '69 rockin' classic, School Days. And with those back-to-school blues just on the horizon, at the very least we can hope that you - or your kids - will find a seat and have enough time to eat, mean ol' teacher or not.

With kids back in school and moms and dads back to work, that means lunch is back to the brown paper bag - or the reusable, 100-per cent-recycled insulation, PVC-free, lead-free, fair labour/fair wage, high performance lunch bag with Miss Kitty's pretty face plastered on the outside. Whatever the sack, sad or not, inside it one day, one way or another will be a sandwich.

Myth has traditionally maintained that we have the fourth Earl of Sandwich, of Sandwich, Kent, to thank for this convenient little foodstuff. However, in reality, our dear earl is but a namesake. He had absolutely nothing to do with inventing the "sandwich" although his name has stuck well, indeed.

By this 18th century, misremembered account, the reference is strictly to food placed between slices of bread. However, I can't help but think that, like so many practical inventions - pot holders, walking sticks, yogurt - it didn't have a singular origin and, rather, popped up serendipitously in any number of eras or locations.

How about a morsel of tenderly roasted lamb wrapped in a piece of naan bread by an ancient mountain dweller in what we now call Kazakhstan, or on the plains of Persia? Or a chunk of chicken stewed with chipotle peppers and nestled in a fresh corn tortilla by a Concho mother in pre-colonial Mexico? And how about early steak tartar "sandwiched" between the saddle and the horse's back by Mongol horsemen as they rode to tenderize the meat? Don't these count as sandwiches in one form or other, earl or no?

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