The ham sandwich is a common type of sandwich.[1] The bread may be buttered or toasted.


The ham sandwich is one of the earliest recorded closed-face sandwiches; by 1850, at least 70 London street vendors offered it.[2] In 18th-century Britain the sandwich was still closely associated with Spanish cuisine, which (considering the especially wide consumption of ham in Spain) may suggest that sandwiches with ham were preferred at that time as well. There were also records of closed face sandwiches on Melrose St. In Providence RI in the 1850s


The British Sandwich Association says that the ham sandwich is the most popular sandwich in the UK,[3] and a survey they conducted in 2001 saw ham as the second favourite filling behind cheese.[4] 70% of the 1.8 billion sandwiches eaten in France in 2008 were ham sandwiches, prompting a French economic analysis firm to begin a 'jambon-beurre index', like the Big Mac Index, to compare prices across the country.[5]

The world's longest ham sandwich was created by butcher Nico Jimenez in Pamplona, Spain in 2009.[6]


The World Cancer Research Fund warned in 2009 against parents feeding their children too many ham sandwiches, due to the risk of bowel cancer from the processed meat.[7][8]

A ham sandwich was suspected of causing an outbreak of swine fever in the UK in 2000.[9]

Cultural impact

New York State chief judge Sol Wachtler was famously quoted by Tom Wolfe in The Bonfire of the Vanities that "a grand jury would 'indict a ham sandwich,' if that's what you wanted."[10][11]

A fictional talking ham sandwich appeared in an online noir serial in the late 1990s, and the publishers sued in 1999 when a similar character appeared in a television advertisement for Florida orange juice, though the suit was withdrawn.[12][13]

The name "ham sandwich" is sometimes used (particularly by the New Orleans Police Department) to refer to a firearm planted at a crime scene by police as false evidence.[14][15][16]

Before her autopsy revealed a heart attack, it was thought that Mama Cass died from choking on a ham sandwich, as she was lying on the couch with food on the table when she was found dead.

See also


  1. ^ Jean Pare (1987). Soups & Sandwiches: Soups and Sandwiches. Company's Coming Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-0-9690695-6-0. , p. 138: "Insert slices of ham and cheese between 2 slices of buttered bread or toast. Add lettuce along with mayonnaise or mustard."
  2. ^ Alan Davidson and Tom Jaine (2006). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280681-9. , p. 692.
  3. ^ Porter, John (23 April 2009). "Ham it up in British Sandwich Week". The Publican. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  4. ^ "Shaping the sandwich of the future". BBC News. 18 May 2001. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  5. ^ Partos, Lindsey (11 March 2009). "New ham sandwich economic 'yardstick' mimicks Big Mac index". Food and Drink Europe. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  6. ^ "Ham fisted". Austrian Times. 29 October 2009. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  7. ^ "Cancer warnings on ham sandwiches". The Courier Mail. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  8. ^ "Charity seeks end to lunchbox ham". BBC News. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  9. ^ Brown, David (2000-09-28). "Rambler 'started piggy fever' with ham sandwich". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  10. ^ Tom Wolfe (1987). The Bonfire of the Vanities. Farrar Straus Giroux. ISBN 0-312-42757-3. 
  11. ^ Barry Popik (July 15, 2004). ""Indict a Ham Sandwich"". The Big Apple". 
  12. ^ Pfister, Nancy (19 February 1999). "K.O. the mayo! Bread bites back". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  13. ^ Hil, J. Dee (24 January 2000). "Richards, Web Site Settle Dispute Over 'Talking Sandwich'". Adweek. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  14. ^ "Whitewash and ham sandwiches". The Economist. 2010-07-24. 
  15. ^ "FRONTLINE – Documentary films and thought-provoking journalism". Retrieved 18 July 2016. 
  16. ^ "Former New Orleans Police Detective Pleads Guilty; Confirms Danziger Cover-up". Retrieved 18 July 2016. 

External links