Queen Victoria’s cucumber sandwich

Most likely you’ve already seen once a picture of this famous lady above. Yes, this is Queen Victoria.
Her reign of 63 years (1837 until her death) was longer than any of her predecessors. The known Victorian era was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire with Victoria also adopting the title of the Empress of India from 1876 on.

But what’s got the famous Queen Victoria to do with cucumber sandwiches?

In a nutshell: she made it popular!

At the end of the 19th century, so history tells, Queen Victoria and her family appreciated sandwiches with cucumber. As they simply liked eating them suddonly cucumber sandwiches became THE High Tea Snack of Britain’s high society and popular across the whole British Empire.

After that it took almost another 100 years until sandwiches got the second big boost in their history. In 1980 Mark’s & Spencer launched the first pre-packed sandwich at a supermarket shelf. The costs: 43 pence. The flamours to choose: salmon with cucumber & egg with cress.

At the beginning people were pretty sceptic if this gonna be a success like Andrew Mackenzie (M&S Edinburgh) who is quoted: “We all thought at that time it was a bit ridiculous. Who would pay for something they could just easily do at home?”

Well, it became a success. A huge success!

Nowadays 3.5 billion sandwiches are consumed every year – only in the UK. And the market is still growing with 800,000 a year and expanded its success story towards Europe:

  • More than 70% of the population eats a sandwich from time to time, in Poland even 99%
  • The most popular flavors are meat, cheese and raw veggies
  • 43% of the Europeans eat them during lunch

So, when did you had your last one?

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