Unusual Sandwiches from the 1800s

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I don’t make sandwiches too often, but they’re boring compared to these from 1800s cookbooks.  I was especially intrigued by the bean sandwich recipe and the one for an anchovy sandwich.

Bread was homemade and had to be sliced, as the first automatically sliced loaves of bread weren’t produced until 1928.


Bread for sandwiches should be at least one day old. Cut into thin slices of uniform size (dip the knife into hot water for slicing moist bread).

Cream (not melt) the butter before spreading. It may have chopped parsley, onion or lemon juice or other flavorings worked into it.

Sandwiches are better eaten as soon as made. If necessary to let them stand an hour or so, wrap the plate of sandwiches in a dampened napkin and put in a cold place so the bread will not become hard and dry. Or cover the plate with lettuce leaves, lay sandwiches on and cover with dampened lettuce leaves.

Do not cut the crust from the bread as a rule. It is the sweetest and most wholesome part of the bread and the slices look so “naked” without it.

Onion sandwiches, when carried, must be packed in a close covered box by themselves.

Chop lean ham fine and beat into each cupful of the minced meat a tablespoon of salad oil, a teaspoon of vinegar, a saltspoon of French mustard, six olives chopped fine, and a teaspoon of minced parsley. Work all to a paste and spread on thin slices of white bread.

Take a small can of salmon, one small onion chopped, two hard boiled eggs chopped, and chopped celery to taste. Mix with a good mayonnaise dressing and spread between thin, buttered slices of bread.

Run boiled ham through the food chopper or mince it very fine. This may be spread plain on buttered bread or it may be mixed with the ground yolks and whites of hard boiled eggs, mixed with mayonnaise dressing to a paste, and spread between thin slices of buttered bread.

Mix two tablespoons creamed butter, one-half cup grated cheese, one teaspoon French mustard, one teaspoon Tarragon vinegar, and anchovy paste. Then add one tablespoon each minced olives and pickles, and salt and paprika to taste. Spread on bread.

Spread buttered brown bread with cold baked beans, sprinkle with chopped pickles, or with salted watercress or nasturtium leaves minced fine.

Take one large onion, three carrots, two red peppers, two green peppers (without seeds), two eggs, hard boiled, and two sour pickles. Chop all the vegetables and pickle very fine. Squeeze dry in a cheese cloth, add the two eggs, chopped, and one-half cup mayonnaise.

Mix one cup minced chicken with two-thirds cup minced ham. Add four tablespoons each of chopped pickles, pimentos, and creamed cheese, mashed smooth. Add paprika and spread on bread.

Chop fine one tall can of pimentos, two stalks of celery, eight stalks of parsley, and two onions. Then add one cup of cottage cheese, one-half cup mayonnaise, one teaspoon salt, and one teaspoon paprika and mix well. Spread butter on one slice of rye bread and the mixture on the other slice. Cover with the second slice of bread on top and serve.

Chop one-third olives and two-third chicken livers that have been thoroughly cooked and mashed quite smooth. Mix with thick mayonnaise dressing. Serve on white bread, ice cold.

Stone olives, or use the stuffed olives, and chop them fine. Mix with an equal quantity of cottage cheese. Make into a smooth paste with soft butter. Spread between graham or rye bread slices. Olives may be mixed likewise with grated cream cheese.

Take six hard boiled eggs, one green pepper, two tablespoons olive oil; one tablespoon ketchup, one-fourth teaspoonful each of salt and mustard, and cream. Chop eggs and pepper, mix other ingredients and add to chopped eggs. Moisten with cream and spread between thin slices of buttered bread. Cut in fancy shapes and keep in damp cloth until ready to serve.

Minced cooked chicken or veal, mixed with minced celery and then with mayonnaise dressing is the usual paste for meat sandwiches. The flavor may be varied by adding minced sweet pickles, sweet canned peppers, olives, pimentos, mushrooms or nuts to this paste as fancy dictates. Minced boiled ham and boiled chicken in equal portions make a nice combination. If mayonnaise isn’t liked bind together with soft butter, thick cream, lemon juice or prepared mustard.

Mince celery fine and mix with chopped apples, sprinkle lightly with salt and spread between slices of buttered brown bread.


You May Like This Book:

Superfood Sandwiches: Crafting Nutritious Sandwiches with Superfoods for Every Meal and Occasion


Do You Often Eat Sandwiches?

Posted in Breads, Miscellaneous.


  1. Love your blog. Discovered it on Mostly Blogging. What a great idea. I’ve often wondered about the cooking practices of old. I remember looking up the first cookbook ever written. I believe it was in 1390 from the chefs for King Richard II. Interesting topic. Love to read about the old sandwiches. I may try a few 🙂

    • I love the Mostly Blogging site and am learning a lot from Janice. I’m glad you found my blog listed there. I hope you get to try a few of the sandwich recipes and enjoy them.

  2. I rarely eat sandwiches but every now and then simply must have a grilled cheese on sourdough bread. I haven’t had one, but have heard of baked bean sandwiches and that actually sounds pretty good to me. The admonition to put onion sandwiches in a box by themselves made me LOL! The Spanish Filling and Egg and Green Pepper sandwiches sound delicious. I just remembered a sandwich my father introduced me to when I was little – a sugar sandwich. Put butter on bread and liberally sprinkle sugar on it. So unhealthy but it sure was good a very long time ago when I was a kid.

    • Maybe some of these old sandwich recipes are familiar to some, but they’re all mostly new to me. I’ve heard of butter sandwiches with sugar, but never ate one. I did used to make mustard sandwiches when I was a kid – just bread and mustard!

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