Looking Back: Remembering potted dog sandwiches with affection

The 2nd of April is National Peanut and Jelly Sandwich Day. This sandwich usually reminds us of Elvis Presley who, it is said, practically lived on the delicacy, comprised of toasted bread, peanut butter, mashed banana and grape jelly.
Promo girls for Sutherlands potted meat factory in Chesterfield.Promo girls for Sutherlands potted meat factory in Chesterfield.
Promo girls for Sutherlands potted meat factory in Chesterfield.

Sometimes with crispy bacon and honey. In America it can be called ‘The Elvis Sandwich’ or ‘Fools Gold Leaf’ which was invented by the Colorado Mine Company Restaurant. I wonder if this diet contributed to the rather large Elvis of his later years.

Apparently, the UKs favourite is a bacon sandwich. Crisp bacon on white bread, often with an accompaniment of brown sauce. That was the runaway favourite of all time in a recent survey of sandwich fillings. Others in the list included prawn mayo, BLT, egg and cress and beef with horseradish sauce. Children today love fish finger sandwiches although fish didn’t have fingers when I was growing up!

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There wasn’t much variation in sandwiches then! We had tomato sandwiches but never salad ones as lettuce wasn’t bought very often and unavailable in winter. There were cheese sarnies and egg ones on offer, but never anything like egg mayonnaise as that was a bit foreign. The only use we knew for olive oil was to loosen ear wax. Dripping sandwiches when we’d had a joint of pork were popular, and cold meat sandwiches cut from the seemingly endless Sunday joint, potted meat and always Bingham’s which has been a Sheffield institution since 1914 when Charles Bingham started selling Bingham’s Beef Spread from home. We affectionately called it ‘potted dog’. My mother bought it at the grocers where it was placed into a square of greaseproof paper. There was Spam, which was an indeterminate kind of luncheon meat, originating in America, and as far as my sister and I were concerned, should have gone back there, Ugh!!

Occasionally, usually if we had friends to Sunday tea, we had tinned salmon sandwiches, which were always followed by tinned fruit with Carnation evaporated milk. The biggest excitement of an otherwise rather dull Sunday was finding that you had the one cherry from the tin of fruit!

And did you hear about the ham sandwich who walked into a bar? The landlord said, ‘Sorry, we don’t serve food here!’

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