On the ride back to Deal, Lew read snippets from the pamphlet Frances had picked up. The town of Sandwich was first recorded in the seventh century and had Saxon origins, though many believe it was settled much earlier. The name was derived from the Place of Sand, but it was the origin of the edible sandwich that intrigued us most. It all started in the mid-eighteenth century. The illustrious Earl of Sandwich, in order to continue gambling and, presumably, not break a winning streak, called for beef to be placed between two slices of bread so he could eat without getting gravy on his playing cards or ruffled shirt sleeves. Thus a new dish was created.
Ironically, the earls of Sandwich had no real connection to the town. The first one, Edward Montagu, only took the title because his fleet docked at Sandwich prior to sailing for France to pick up King Charles the Second and return him to the throne of England. Montagu could just as easily taken his title from another town along the coast.
“Anyone for a roast beef portsmouth?” I asked.
We thought about it for a moment; it did not sound as strange as I expected.
“Could work,” said Frances. “Although roast beef ‘rye’ would be better.”
“Rye! Yes. Clever. Very.” I smiled.