The Prose and Condiments of the American Sandwich
If National Sandwich Month sort of snuck up on you this year, don’t feel bad. If you can’t remember getting the annual announcement, didn’t see your neighbors stringing up their Sandwich Month decorations, don’t beat yourself up about it. National Sandwich Month was last officially declared in 1980.
Maybe you thought you had until November to plan your celebration–a common mistake. You were thinking of National Sandwich Day, observed every November 3rd, on the birthday of John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich, the supposed originator of meat on bread.
Unfortunately, National Sandwich Month, the longer of the two national celebrations, is also the more obscure. According to The Food Timeline, a truly invaluable online resource put together by librarian (who else but a librarian?) Lynne Olver, National Sandwich Month is a trade holiday. It was originally sponsored by the American Bakers Association, the American Dairy Association, the National Live Stock and Meat Board, the Wheat Flower Institute, and Wheat Grower Groups, though it doesn’t appear that these groups do a tremendous amount of promotion for their holiday season. (This information comes courtesy of the 1970 edition of Chases’ Calendar of Annual Events via The Food Timeline’s comprehensive sandwich section.)
As it turns out, we have a sandwich-centric holiday for pretty much every month of the year. For your convenience, here’s a list of days you can spend celebrating the sandwich and all that it stands for.
In addition to hosting National Sandwich Month, August is also National Panini Month, so get pressing.
1st Saturday: National Mustard Day. Start stocking up on the celebratory pastrami.
2nd: National Ice Cream Sandwich Day. Sandwiches can be dessert, too.
3: National Welsh Rarebit Day. A cheesy predecessor to the grilled cheese sandwich, often found in early 20th century sandwich cookbooks.
14: National Eat a Hoagie Day. If it’s too much, have a friend help.
2nd week: National School Lunch Week. We had triple-decker PB & J at my school.
8: National Fluffernutter Day. Sugar sandwich.
29: National Bologna Day. Watch this to celebrate.
National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month. PB & J, the Fluffernutter, the Elvis…
3: National Sandwich Day. The Earl’s birthday.
14: National Pickle Day. Eat one on a sandwich, or on the side.
17: National Homemade Bread Day. Best if someone else home-makes it for you.
30: National Bicarbonate of Soda Day. Not really related, but I thought this was a cool one.
National Meat/Soup/Wheat Bread Month. All at the same time! Celebrate with 1/2 a sandwich and a cup of soup. It’s a good value.
14: National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day. Find the nearest deli and run there.
20: National Cheese Lover’s Day. And really, who doesn’t love cheese?
24: National Peanut Butter Day. Because an entire month is not enough.
30: National Croissant Day. Makes a good vessel for chicken salad sandwiches.
National Potato Lover’s Month. Chips, fries, potato salad. Classy sandwich sidekicks.
4: National Homemade Soup Day. A solid pairing with your favorite sandwich.
National Flour Month. It’s all about the bread.
1: National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day. Really? Another one?
3: National Cold Cuts Day. Vacation in the cold cut belt! (It’s the stretch between Eastern Pennsylvania and Northern Indiana historically known for high cold cut demand.)
10: National Pack Your Lunch Day. Pack a sandwich.
14: National Potato Chip Day. And some chips.
21: National French Bread Day. Make yourself a High Rock.
23: National Melba Toast Day. Make lots of tiny sandwiches.
Florida Tomato/Grilled Cheese Month. Make grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, a personal favorite.
2nd week: Egg Salad Week. Makes a good cold sandwich.
1: National Sourdough Bread Day. Makes a good grilled cheese.
2: National PB & J Day. Timeless. And tasty.
12: National Grilled Cheese Day. Even though it’s already grilled cheese month, celebrate extra hard this day.
22: Earth Day. It’s just an important day. So don’t forget it.
5: National Hoagie Day. Not to be confused with National Eat a Hoagie Day.
25: National Brown Bag It Day. Another day to bring your lunch. It’s a good idea anyway.
National Turkey Lover’s Month. Best way to celebrate: turkey club, for sure.
3: National Egg Day. Have a breakfast sandwich.
4: National Cheese Day. Have a breakfast sandwich with cheese.
13: National French Fries Day. Head to Primanti Bros., where they put the fries right on the sandwich. Saves time.