Toast sandwich

A toast sandwich is a sandwich in which the filling between two slices of bread is itself a thin slice of toasted bread, which may be buttered.[1][2] An 1861 recipe says to add salt and pepper to taste.[1]

Toast sandwich
A piece of toast sandwiched between two pieces of bread
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Region or stateEngland
Main ingredientsBread, toast, butter, salt, pepper
Food energy
(per serving)
330 kcal (1382 kJ)

Victorian recipe

A recipe for toast sandwiches is included in the invalid cookery section of the 1861 Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton, who adds, "This sandwich may be varied by adding a little pulled meat, or very fine slices of cold meat, to the toast, and in any of these forms will be found very tempting to the appetite of an invalid."[1][3]

Modern versions

In November 2011, the toast sandwich was recreated by the Royal Society of Chemistry in a tasting 150 years after the release of Beeton's Book of Household Management.[4] The society sought to revive the forgotten dish in wake of the Great Recession after calculating the cost as low as £.075 per sandwich.[5] They named it "the country's most economical lunch", offering £200 (equivalent to £259.31 in 2021) to whoever could create a cheaper edible meal.[6] Due to an overabundance of submissions, the offer was closed seven days later and the £200 given to a randomly selected entrant.[7]

The toast sandwich served as a side dish at Heston Blumenthal's restaurant The Fat Duck

In Heston Blumenthal's restaurant The Fat Duck, 12 toast sandwiches are served as a side dish to the "Mad Hatter's Tea Party (circa 1892)", a main course inspired by Alice in Wonderland.[8][9][10] Blumenthal's recipe for the toast sandwich involves bone marrow salad, egg yolk, mustard, gastrique, mayonnaise, and tomato ketchup.[10]

United States media coverage

The A.V. Club's Mike Vago described it as an "extravagance of blandness".[11] The Daily Meal article "12 Life-Changing Sandwiches You've Never Heard Of" said the toast sandwich was "just not that good ... Thankfully, the Dadaists didn't invent any more sandwiches after that."[2]

The toast sandwich was discussed on The Leonard Lopate Show in an interview with The Sporkful's Dan Pashman. Host Leonard Lopate commented, "it sounds weird to me".[12][13] The game show panelists on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! each tried the toast sandwich.[14] Host Peter Sagal remarked, "This is the culinary equivalent of a Rothko painting. Or it's like a sandwich by Marcel Duchamp! It questions the essence of sandwich and language both!"[14]

See also


  1. Beeton, Isabella (1861). "39: Invalid Cookery; Recipes: Toast Sandwiches". The Book of Household Management. S. O. Beeton. §§ 1877, 1878 via Project Gutenberg.
  2. Dan Myers (27 February 2015). "12 Life-Changing Sandwiches You've Never Heard Of". The Daily Meal. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  3. Lane, Megan (17 November 2011). "The toast sandwich and other hyper-cheap meals". BBC News Magazine.
  4. "Toast sandwich is UK's 'cheapest meal'". BBC News. 16 November 2011.
  5. "RSC press release: Mrs Beeton's toast sandwich". Retrieved 2015-11-02.
  6. Fort, Matthew (16 November 2011). "The toast sandwich: can you jazz it up?". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  7. "RSC Press Release: RSC inboxes overflowing with economical meal suggestions". Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  8. Dan Stock (17 September 2014). "The Fat Duck in Melbourne: Heston Blumenthal has ballot system for bookings". Retrieved 2014-10-08.
  9. Aaron Langmaid (31 March 2014). "Fat chance you'll get a table at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant at Crown in Melbourne". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2014-10-08.
  10. Sarah Rogozen (31 December 2013). "Heston Blumenthal on Recreating Lewis Carroll's Mock Turtle Soup". KCRW. Retrieved 2014-10-08.
  11. Mike Vago (19 June 2016). "The powerful bread lobby wants you to read this article about sandwiches". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  12. Pashman, Dan (24 July 2014). "What Is A Sandwich? (Or, John Hodgman Calls In To Leonard Lopate To Argue With Me)". Sporkful.
  13. Lopate, Leonard (24 July 2014). "Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?". WNYC.
  14. Ian Chillag (28 November 2011). "Sandwich Monday: The Toast Sandwich". NPR. Retrieved 2014-05-30.
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