A letter to Sis - Page 2

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Tony Cooper

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Aug 14, 2001, 9:57:59 PM8/14/01
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Dear Sis.....

Well, the "sandwich" thread is getting stale and the group is moving
on to other things. It turns out the humble sandwich has an
interesting past. As you probably know, the name comes from John
Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. Allegedly, it was at his behest
that the first recognized sandwich was constructed.

I've done some digging, though, and found that the credit really
should be given to Simon Dipp. Simon was a young lad that escaped
from the slums of Bethnal Green and managed to get himself apprenticed
at the London Culinary Institute around 1760. Unfortunately, he was
dismissed from LCI for interfering with a young French scullery maid
in the potato cellar. Simon went from there to a position as an
attendant a popular hangout for gentlemen that like to gamble: the
London Beefsteak Club over the Covent Garden Theatre.

One afternoon he was on duty when Montagu, and some of his friends
from the Hellfire Club (or, as they were also known, the Monks of
Medmenham) were having one of their marathon card games. Sir Francis
Dashwood had named his favorite game: five card draw; fours, whores,
and one-eyed knaves wild; four Jacks or better to open; stay-or-drop.
Seventeen hands had been dealt without anyone having openers, and the
pot was fatter than a Cornish milkmaid. Montague was famished. He'd
not eaten since the previous afternoon and claimed "his pupick was
pressing his backbone" he was so hungry.

So, he summoned Simon Lapp and ordered him to bring him some slices of
roast beef so Montagu could continue to play cards and not leave the
table. William Hogarth - who whiled away time between hands making
rude sketches - objected on the grounds that Montagu's greasy fingers
would make the cards difficult to handle and shuffle. The Marquis of
Granby (often suspected of legerdemain in dealing) enthusiastically
agreed.

Simon, quick to see an opportunity to ingratiate himself with the
distinguished and wealthy players, assured Montagu that he would
prepare something to suit the purpose. In the kitchen, Simon cut open
a loaf of bread and laid a few slices of roast beef on one half the
loaf thinking that Montagu could grasp the bread only and keep his
fingers free of grease. His LCI training had not deserted him,
however, and he impulsively garnished the beef with a few leaves of
greens and a slice of tomato. Still not satisfied, though, he glanced
out the window and saw a passing carriage.

"I say!" he shouted, "Any Grey Poupon?" The carriage's occupant
extended a lace cuffed arm and presented Simon with a small jar of
mustard. Simon spread the mustard on the meat, placed the remaining
half of the bread loaf on top, and clapped his hands in delight.

Knowing the other members of the group would want something too, and
sensing a generous gratuity, Simon quickly cut some cooked potatoes
into thin slices and briefly sauteed them in fat. Next, he whipped
together a mix of sour cream and onion into a paste that he placed in
a bowl. He proudly took his concoctions to the player's table.

Looking at the bowl of brown paste, Thomas Potter (the son of the
Archbishop of Canterbury) asked: "What's that, Dipp? Shit?". Thus,
our Simon - while never getting proper credit for inventing what's now
known as the sandwich, is at least remembered for a phrase and a
snack.

Simon Dipp later married the French scullery maid and moved to Dijon
to open a brasserie. A descendant of his later entered the annals of
food history by inventing the French Dipp. Montagu went on to become
the First Lord of the Admiralty (for the second time) and it was on
his watch that the British lost to their leftpondian colony. He also
dispatched Captain Cook on a voyage that led to the discovery of the
Sandwich Islands, now known as the Hawaiian Islands.

Knowing me, Sis, you will understand that some of the above is fact,
and some is fancy. I will leave one fact for you to figure out: Why
might we now be calling the sandwich a portsmouth?

Affectionately,


--
Tony Cooper aka: Tony_Co...@Yahoo.com
Provider of Jots & Tittles

Jacqui

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Aug 15, 2001, 5:46:14 AM8/15/01
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Tony Cooper wrote:

> I've done some digging, though, and found that the credit really
> should be given to Simon Dipp. Simon was a young lad that escaped

> So, he summoned Simon Lapp and ordered him to bring him some slices of

> Simon Dipp later married the French scullery maid and moved to Dijon
> to open a brasserie...

> Knowing me, Sis, you will understand that some of the above is fact,
> and some is fancy. I will leave one fact for you to figure out: Why
> might we now be calling the sandwich a portsmouth?

Dunno, but I'm intrigued as to why Simon changed his name halfway
through his life and then changed it back again. I wouldn't have noticed
but I'm doing some research on Flora Thompson whose mother is variously
listed as Emma Lapper, Emma Dipper and Emma Dibber. I half-expected to
see Simon Dibb in the French brasserie... ;)

Jac

Tony Cooper

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Aug 15, 2001, 8:27:39 AM8/15/01
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Jackqui wrote:

> Dunno, but I'm intrigued as to why Simon changed his name halfway
> through his life and then changed it back again.

Just my error. I'm really going to have to read what I write.

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