Ham and cheese sandwich

Ham and cheese sandwich
A grilled ham and cheese sandwich, in a cast iron frying pan

The ham and cheese sandwich is a common type of sandwich. It is made by putting cheese and sliced ham between two slices of bread.[1] The bread is sometimes buttered and toasted. Vegetables like lettuce, tomato, onion or pickle slices can also be included. Various kinds of mustard and mayonnaise are also common.

Sliced bread, sliced cheese, and sliced cooked ham are very readily available in Western supermarkets and as a result ham and cheese sandwiches are extremely quick and easy to prepare. They are a common component of a brown bag lunch.



As recalled by ballpark concessionaire Harry Stevens in a 1924 interview, in 1894 ham and cheese sandwiches were the only food items sold in New York baseball parks, frankfurters not being introduced until fifteen years later.[2]

An Englishwoman, writing in 1923 of her passage through Ellis Island on a trip to the U.S., noted:

I was in fear and trembling, having heard so many tales of the abuse aliens receive there.... The attendants were very kind and not at all rough with us. It was the noon hour... in a little while porters came along with baskets of very good ham and cheese sandwiches and coffee for the grown-ups and milk for the babies.[3]

Richard E. Byrd took ham and cheese sandwiches on his 1926 polar flight as did 1927 transatlantic fliers Chamberlin and Levine.[4]


The origin of the ham and cheese sandwich has been debated for a number of years by culinary intellectuals. The leading theory as to who first started to produce a ham, cheese and bread dish is mentioned in The Larousse Gastronomique 1961. Here it notes that an 18th century Irish immigrant to England called Patrick Connolly who sold a bread dish which:

"Combined the remains of pig, cured and sliced with a topping of Leicester cheese and a kiss of egg yolk sauce (a form of mayonnaise) in a round bread roll. The dish was rather unimaginatively known as a Connolly and is still sometimes referred to as this in some parts of the midlands in the UK."

See also


  1. ^ Jean Pare (1987). Soups & Sandwiches: Soups and Sandwiches. Company's Coming Publishing Limited. ISBN 9780969069560. , p. 138: "Insert slices of ham and cheese between 2 slices of buttered bread or toast. Add lettuce along with mayonnaise and/or mustard."
  2. ^ The New York Times, April 13, 1924, p. XX2: Ball Fans Must Eat: Harry Stevens, Caterer to the Sport World, Talks of Outdoor Appetites
  3. ^ The New York Times, July 1, 1923, p. XX8, Letters to the Editor: Experience at Ellis Island
  4. ^ The New York Times, June 29, 1927, p. 2, Fliers' Menus More Varied Than That on Earlier Trips. In addition to sixteen ham and cheese sandwiches, Byrd took sixteen chicken sandwiches, four roast chickens, one gallon of coffee, and one quart of tea. (Lindbergh carried ham sandwiches).

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