Food - Drink
What Does The ‘Club’ In Club Sandwich Really Mean?
By ELIAS NASH
With the simple ingredient list of standard cold cuts, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, the club sandwich really is about as basic as it gets. Yet, whether it's the extra slice of bread that creates a double-decker display, or the tradition of cutting it into quarters rather than halves, something about this sandwich just feels special.
For a sandwich so simple, its moniker of “club” sandwich gives it an unusually exclusive feel, so how did it get this name? British tabloid The Sun’s theory is that it’s an acronym for “chicken and lettuce under bacon,” but it's since been debunked by the fact-checking site Snopes due to lack of any sources.
Another idea suggests it comes from the double-decker club cars that were featured on American trains in the 1890s, but a more likely theory is that the sandwich originated in the kitchen of a private social club. Saratoga Club House in New York takes credit, but further research shows another club beat them to the punch.
An 1889 edition of The World newspaper of New York writes, "Have you tried the Union Club sandwich yet? Two slices of Graham bread with a layer of turkey or chicken and ham between them." While there is debate as to whether this can be considered a club, it does share the same name and characteristics, and that’s close enough for us.