Club sandwich facts for kids
|Alternative names||Clubhouse sandwich|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Main ingredients||Toasted bread, turkey/chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise|
A club sandwich, also called a clubhouse sandwich, is a sandwich of bread (traditionally toasted), sliced cooked poultry, ham or fried bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. It is often cut into quarters or halves and held together by cocktail sticks. Modern versions frequently have two layers which are separated by an additional slice of bread.
The club sandwich may have originated at the Union Club of New York City. The earliest known reference to the sandwich, an article that appeared in The Evening World on November 18, 1889, is also an early recipe; "Have you tried a Union Club sandwich yet? Two toasted pieces of Graham bread, with a layer of turkey or chicken and ham between them, served warm." Several other early references also credit the chef of the Union Club with creating the sandwich.
Other sources find the origin of the club sandwich to be up for debate. Another theory is that the club sandwich was invented in an exclusive Saratoga Springs, New York, gambling club in the late 19th century. "In 1894 Richard Canfield... the debonair patron of art, purchased the Saratoga Club to make it a casino [Canfield Casino]... the club sandwich [originated] in its kitchens." ---The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman: New York] 1999 (p. 87)
The sandwich is known to have appeared on U.S. restaurant menus as far back as 1899. The earliest reference to the sandwich in published fiction is from Conversations of a Chorus Girl, a 1903 book by Ray Cardell. Historically, club sandwiches featured slices of chicken, but with time, turkey has become increasingly common. An 1897 recipe has three layers, with the chicken and ham separated not by a slice of bread, but by a lettuce leaf.
As with a BLT, toasted white bread is standard, along with iceberg lettuce, bacon, and tomatoes. The sandwich is traditionally dressed with mayonnaise. However variations on the traditional club sandwich abound. Some vary the protein, for example, a "breakfast club" that includes eggs or a "roast beef club." Others include ham (instead of, or in addition to, bacon), or German Kaiserfleisch and/or cheese slices (Swiss, Dutch, or cheddar). Mustard (English, French Dijon, German senf, American, or whole-grain) and sometimes honey mustard are common condiments, or with sliced pickled gherkins, or mustard pickles, or an Indian chutney. Upscale variations include the oyster club, the salmon club, and Dungeness crab melt.
The sandwich is commonly served with an accompaniment of either coleslaw or potato salad, and often garnished with a pickle. The coleslaw or potato salad is often reduced to a "garnish" portion, when the primary accompaniment is an order of french fries or potato chips. Due to high fat and carb content from the bread, bacon and dressing, club sandwiches have sometimes been criticized as unhealthy. In 2000, Burger King came under fire for its chicken club, which contained 700 calories, 44 grams of fat (nine of them saturated), and 1,300 milligrams of sodium, as well as the trans fat from the fryer shortening.