A Sandwich and Not a Sandwich

tuna sandwich

The sandwich is a British lunchtime institution.

Indeed apparently over 6.5 billion pounds (yes really), is spent in the UK on buying sandwiches each year.

So not only is the lunchtime sandwich a British habit, it’s also incredibly big business.

Which is probably and sadly why the notion of a sandwich has become a sorry sight (and an even sorrier eating experience), in most big food chains.

In my view, a sandwich is a couple of pieces of buttered bread surrounding something I like, such as cheese and pickle or tuna and salad. The point of a sandwich has always been its practical and simple construction and its versatility of filling.

When I worked in a city and stepped out of the office into the high street at lunchtime feeling hungry if I hadn’t made any lunch that day, I was a food marketeers easy fish, just waiting to be caught.

Like thousands of others I’d wander along the pedestrian streets, assessing the lunchtime choices and believing I was in control, choosing what I wanted.

In reality, I was probably nearly always sold what I was meant to be sold – the ‘meal deal’ if I was feeling prudent or lazy; the ‘gourmet hummus, rocket’ etc… from an upmarket sandwich chain if I was feeling confident and healthy; or anything from a supermarket, if I was also doing a bit of general shopping and was in a hurry.

But a mass – produced sandwich is not really a sandwich at all. It’s 37 different dubious – sounding ingredients put together to resemble a sandwich.

Here’s my comparison in looks, cost, ingredients and taste:

open tuna sandwich


table of sandwich

homemade sandwich


My homemade sandwich is half the price of the supermarket one, and tastes SO much better.

This is a homemade sourdough, but decent bread is much more available to buy now too.




co-op sandwich


The supermarket sandwich is quite revolting. It’s a bit like eating a sweet, fishy sponge. Maybe they just need to go lighter on the mono and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides of mono fatty acids…


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