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The Resurrection of the World’s Oldest Sandwich: A TikTok Triumph

The world’s oldest sandwich: A triumphant return thanks to TikTok

When it comes to the history of sandwiches, one name stands out above all others: John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich. Legend has it that in the 18th century, the Earl was lost in a game of cards when he asked his servants to bring him something to eat. So as not to interrupt his game, he asked for meat to be served between two slices of bread, creating what would become known as the sandwich. Little did he know that this simple invention would revolutionize the way we enjoy our meals.
While Montagu may have popularized the sandwich, the concept of sandwiching ingredients has been around for much longer. Historical records suggest that people in ancient Greece and Turkey enjoyed this culinary delight long before Montagu’s time. However, it was the Earl’s love of gambling and convenience that gave rise to the name “sandwich”, which has since become synonymous with this versatile creation.

The evolution of the sandwich

Over the centuries, sandwiches have evolved and adapted to different tastes and culinary trends. From humble beginnings, they have become a beloved staple in the Western world. Today, we find a wide variety of sandwiches, from simple classics like peanut butter and jelly to elaborate gourmet creations with layers of meat and flavorful spreads.
But while some sandwiches have stood the test of time, others have faded into relative obscurity. Enter TikTok’s “Sandwiches of History” channel. With over 285,000 followers, channel creator Barry Enderwick takes inspiration from old recipe books to recreate sandwiches from the past and share them with his audience.

Discover the world’s oldest sandwich

One of Enderwick’s most exciting culinary adventures was his attempt to recreate what is believed to be one of the world’s oldest sandwiches: the rou jia mo. Originating in China around 200 B.C., this ancient sandwich is still a popular street food in the country today. Enderwick’s inspiration for this project came from “Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide.
Rou Jia Mo is traditionally made by stuffing meat into a bun. Enderwick’s recreation of this ancient sandwich features a harmonious blend of onions, spices and soy sauce, making it a flavorful and satisfying culinary experience. Thanks to Enderwick’s TikTok video, viewers around the world were able to witness the triumphant return of this ancient delicacy and even try their hand at making it at home.

Preserving culinary history

The Sandwiches of History TikTok channel serves as a window into the fascinating world of culinary history. By reviving forgotten sandwich recipes and sharing them with a modern audience, Enderwick not only educates, but also celebrates the rich heritage of sandwiches and their cultural significance.
Through his research in vintage recipe books, Enderwick has brought to life sandwiches such as the Black Walnut Sandwich from the “Up-to-Date Sandwich Book of 1909” and the Cheese and Cornflakes Sandwich from the 1936 recipe book “1001 Sandwiches”. His dedication to preserving the culinary traditions of the past has earned him a loyal following and renewed interest in these forgotten gems.

Bottom line

The world’s oldest sandwich has made a triumphant return thanks to the power of TikTok and the passion of Barry Enderwick, creator of the Sandwiches of History channel. Through his exploration of vintage recipe books, Enderwick has brought forgotten sandwich recipes back to life and shared them with an eager audience. The Rou Jia Mo, an ancient Chinese sandwich, was just one of the many culinary treasures he rediscovered.
As we enjoy the sandwiches of today, it’s important to remember the rich history behind this beloved food. TikTok’s Sandwiches of History channel serves as a reminder that culinary traditions should be celebrated and preserved for future generations. So the next time you bite into a sandwich, take a moment to appreciate the innovation and creativity that made it such a cherished part of our culinary culture.


The TikTok channel “Sandwiches of History” is a platform created by Barry Enderwick where he recreates sandwiches from the past inspired by old recipe books.

Who is John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich?

John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich, is credited with popularizing the concept of the sandwich. Legend has it that he asked for meat to be served between two slices of bread while engaged in a game of cards, thus giving birth to the name “sandwich”.

What is Rou Jia Mo?

Believed to be one of the oldest sandwiches in the world, the rou jia mo originated in China around 200 B.C. It is a traditional Chinese street food consisting of meat stuffed into a bun.

How did TikTok help bring back the world’s oldest sandwich?

Through the “Sandwiches of History” platform, TikTok enabled Barry Enderwick to share his recreation of the Rou Jia Mo sandwich with a wide audience. This brought attention to the ancient delicacy and sparked interest in trying it at home.

What other sandwiches has Barry recreated?

Barry Enderwick has recreated several sandwiches from vintage recipe books, including the Black Walnut Sandwich from the “Up-to-Date Sandwich Book of 1909” and the Cheese and Cornflakes Sandwich from the 1936 “1001 Sandwiches” recipe book.

Why is it important to preserve food history?

Preserving culinary history allows us to appreciate and learn from the traditions and innovations of the past. It provides insight into different cultures and culinary techniques, and ensures that valuable knowledge and recipes are not lost over time.

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