Skip To Content

    The Word "Sandwich" Has Lost All Meaning, And That Is Not OK

    A brief history of the devolution of the sandwich. #RIPbread

    Once upon a time, a "sandwich" meant two slices of bread, filled with any combination of delicious meats, cheeses, vegetables, and spreads.

    Zach DeSart / bonappetit.com

    Recipe: Perfect BLT

    Sometimes hot, sometimes cold, always glorious.

    Perfectly conceived, but uncomplicated and easy to define.

    The sandwich quickly became a pop culture phenom, probably because of its inclusive and customizable nature.

    Sandwichmania started innocently enough, with clever riffs on solid classics.

    Dessert lovers got in on the action, turning popular pastries into sandwiches.

    Things started to get a little out of control when other carb-based meals elbowed their way in.

    Sort of "sandwich for sandwich's sake," but still bearing strong resemblance to its predecessor, so OK.

    Then, liberties were taken with what constitutes "bread." A biscuit sandwich? OK.

    Why not use waffles? They're great for savory sandwiches...

    ...and for sweet ones, too.

    And anything a waffle can do, a pancake can do better. Right?

    And everyone knows that the donut is king of the breakfast carbs. A donut sandwich? YES!

    Those who scoffed at the low-brow nature of the donut sandwich were assuaged by the dawn of the croissandwich.

    And then... someone created this grilled cheese-sandwich patty melt. A SANDWICH SANDWICHED BETWEEN TWO SANDWICHES OMG.

    Unsure of how to compete, new-age sandwiches started turning to less traditional starches as the vehicle.

    Madness ensued.

    The world of sandwiches became a lawless and unregulated one.

    A world of "anything goes."

    Ryan Adams / saveur.com

    Soon, the madness spiraled into anarchy.

    Sandwiches were everywhere. Everything was a sandwich.

    No one knew who to blame, so everyone blamed bread. Bread became the common enemy.

    People went to great lengths to save the sandwich from the evils of bread.

    Great and terrible lengths.

    Until one day, the term "sandwich" was stretched to encompass things that weren't even sandwiches at all. Just rolled up fillings.

    Or, worst of all, hand-held salads.