Toast sandwich
An image of a toast sandwich, shot from the side, consisting of two thin-cut slices of bread and one thick-cut slice.
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)

A toast sandwich (also known as a bread 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]

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. ^ a b c Beeton, Isabella (1861). "39: Invalid Cookery; Recipes: Toast Sandwiches". The Book of Household Management. S. O. Beeton. §§ 1877, 1878 – via Project Gutenberg.
  2. ^ a b 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". 15 November 2011. 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". 17 November 2011. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  8. ^ Dan Stock (17 September 2014). "The Fat Duck in Melbourne: Heston Blumenthal has ballot system for bookings". Archived from the original on 2014-10-08. 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. ^ a b 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. ^ a b Ian Chillag (28 November 2011). "Sandwich Monday: The Toast Sandwich". NPR. Retrieved 2014-05-30.