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It’s Time for a Sandwich

August 10, 2023

At family gatherings, since I was a child, we’ve always had a variety of food. However, when discussing the food being prepared, if someone asks if we will be having sandwich, everyone knows what that means. In my family, there is but one sandwich and it is the one pictured above…three kinds of meat, two types of cheese, lettuce, tomato, thinly sliced yellow onion, and Miracle Whip or sandwich oil. It is delicious, and it is loved by our family.

August is National Sandwich Month, its origins dating back to 1952 as a promotion created by the Wheat Flour Institute. In Indiana, many believe the pork tenderloin sandwich reigns supreme. You’ll find it in so many places, there is a Tenderloin Lovers Trail, divided by North, Central and South locations. This blog isn’t about the tenderloin though, it’s about other sandwiches and options that have been available in Indiana over time. I have selected my favorites (good and bad) to share.

Sandwich Making Demonstration at the 1937 Indiana State Fair, Indiana Historical Society, P0490

There is something to be said for modern photography’s use of color. I must admit that this lovely platter of finger sandwiches lacks a certain something without being able to see the vibrancy of the fillings. It dulls my senses and my ability to determine the sandwich contents based on the image alone. It does, overall, look like a pleasant platter of sandwiches for entertaining though, and I wouldn’t balk at trying a few. I can’t say the same for the menu shared below and its ‘creations.’

P’nut Butter Sandwich Creations Menu, 1943, Indiana Historical Society, P0569 (cropped)

When I first viewed the above menu, I didn’t realize what I was seeing. Once I did, I was a bit repulsed. I am certainly familiar with my fair share of peanut butter sandwich options, peanut butter on toast, peanut butter and jam or jelly, and my personal favorite, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff (a fluffernutter). However, I just can’t seem to wrap my head around peanut butter with lettuce and tomato, or sliced egg, or melted cheese. The other concoctions don’t leave as bad an imaginary taste in my mouth, but you won’t see my trying those three. They can stay firmly in 1943.

Oriental “Show-You” Recipes, 1920, Indiana Historical Society Pamphlet Collection

Last, but certainly not least, I want to provide you with some delightful sandwich recipes. Who could resist creamed bean sprouts on toast, bean sprout sandwiches, or a frankfurter all featuring the delectable show-you sauce produced in Columbia City, Indiana? For more information about this soy sauce produced in Indiana, read one of my colleague’s blogs from 2020. Oh, and don’t hesitate to enjoy these recipes for sandwiches as well as the other items found in this cookbook.

All this to say, Happy National Sandwich month! Which ‘wich is your go-to?

Amy Vedra

Amy Vedra is the director of reference services. She is currently reading her way through the Great American Reads list.

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