Good news for anyone looking to escape the tired old sardine sandwich rut - The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich, above, boasts no fewer than ten variations, plus a handful of canapés.
The omega-3-rich fishes may be swimming their way back onto trendy 21st-century lunch menus, but back in 1909, when The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book was published, convincing diners to order them wasn’t such an uphill battle.
Other popular ingredients of the period include tongue, English walnuts, flowers, and of course, cheese, with nary an avocado in sight.
Author Eva Greene Fuller had a clear preference for spreadable consistencies, an insistence on “perfect bread in suitable condition” and an eye for detail, evident in such suggested garnishes as smilax and maidenhair fern.
Naturally, there are some misfires amid the 400, at least as far as modern palates and sensibilities are concerned.
The Mexican Sandwich calls for a spoonful of baked beans mixed with catsup and butter, served atop a large square cracker.
The Oriental Sandwich features a spread made of cream cheese, maple syrup, and sliced maraschino cherries.
The Dyspeptic Sandwich is the only one to use gluten-free bread... sprinkled with brown bread crumbs.
The Popcorn Sandwich sounds quite tasty except for the titular ingredient, which is passed through a meat chopper and combined with sardines, prior to being spread with Parmesan and slid under the broiler.
As for peanut butter, it’s a mix-your-own affair, using chopped peanuts and the cook’s choice of mayonnaise, sweetened whipped cream, sherry or port wine.
And children are sure to approve of the School Sandwich, a simple concoction of buttered white bread and brown sugar.
Below is a taste to get you started, though all 400 recipes can be browsed above. The initiated may also be interested in the etymology of the word “sandwich” on the Public Domain Review, who brought this cookbook to our attention,
Chop raw beef and onions very fine, season with salt and pepper and spread on lightly buttered brown bread.
Bummers Custard Sandwich
Take a cake of Roquefort cheese and divide in thirds; moisten one third with brandy, another third with olive oil and the other third with Worcestershire sauce. mix all together and place between split water biscuits toasted. Good for a stag lunch.
Aspic Jelly Sandwich
Soak one box (two ounces) of gelatin in one cup of chicken liquor until softened; add three cupfuls of chicken stock seasoned with a little parsley, celery, three cloves, a blade of mace and a dash of salt and pepper. Strain into a dish and add a little shredded breast of chicken; set in a cold place to harden; when cold, slice in fancy shaped and place on slightly butter whole wheat bread. Garnish with a stick of celery.
Cover the butter with violets over night; slice white bread thin and spread with the butter. Put slices together and cover with the petals of the violets.
Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. She will serving as both emcee and referee in this weekend’s Brooklyn Book Festival Illustrator Smackdown. Follow her @AyunHalliday.