"Oi, get us a Bacon Reg."

There is nothing quite like a sandwich stuffed with crispy bacon, butter melting and mixing in with every bite taken and the only thought that occupies your mind is sauce or no sauce!

A Reg Varney is cockney rhyming slang for a sarnie otherwise known as a sandwich which traditionally is known as an item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with a filling.  Its valued for its portability; poplar as lunch food, taken to work, school, or picnics to be eaten as part of a packed lunch or eaten as a light meal.

Between the 17th & 23rd May what better way to celebrate British Sandwich Week than to pay homage to this iconic culinary invention!

The great sandwich is such a central item in our psyche and culture and all over the world it is referred to by a multitude of names; sarnies, butties, barms, baps, baguettes, banh mi, francesinha fricassee, muffaletta, rolls, sangas and vada pav everywhere you go there’s a local term.  It can be open, closed, club, stacker, art, toaster, designer or shooter.

Lunchtime, of course, is where the sarnie truly rules; nearly every child has grown up opening their personalised, decorated or trendy Tupperware box or lunch bag to discover those little squares or triangles inside (everyone knows triangles taste better, right?).

When I was this little person I can remember our Mum used to always use wholemeal bread and a variety of fillings ranging from marmite and cucumber (one of my all-time favourites) to pate or just salad, it was always that excitement and anticipation to see what was inside and to compare with your friends, as you tucked into whatever was on offer before racing into the playground feeling fuelled up by this scrumptious snack

But let’s not forget their appearance within an Afternoon Tea in the form of fingers, all dainty, discreet and generally not enough and a sandwich at dinner means its time to bring out the big guns!  That is the domain of serious sandwiches where you meet, greet and eat the burger!  After sociable hours it becomes our guilty pleasure or when your drunk or hungover – it is our past, present and future food friend!

‘The Sandwich’ - there's a sandwich for every situation and a sandwich for every taste. It's a popular food that can be very versatile because you can make it exactly how you want! Whether you like it crust less, toasted, cut, stacked or just thrown together in a hurry, it's completely up to you what you create.

It’s no surprise that a cheese sandwich can be a very fine thing and remains the nation’s favourite desk lunch which is a firm favourite. Unlike tuna or egg, the cheddar sandwich generates no smells that conflict with the morning coffee.

It also illustrates the gulf between what we dream of eating and what we have time to make!  The second is ham followed closely by chicken and then salad.

in Britain alone, we buy over 3.5 billion sandwiches a year and interestingly 32% of people eat the same thing for lunch every day.

It is cheap and quick to make, sleepy-eyed, before the commute and demands no ceremony to eat. Feel hunger. Apply to mouth, swallow feel the satisfaction!  Job done.

Sandwiches are Britain’s greatest edible export and a way of eating that frees us both from cutlery and set eating times.  It only requires one hand to eat, leaving the other free to tap away on our PC’s/phones.  It is an exchange of food to mouth for impatient people who don't want to stop what they are doing for a task so mundane as eating.

But did you know the average sandwich contains 400 calories? And just cheese and I mean a single slice in-between bread is 261!  Probably more than you thought, and if the only form of exercise you're doing that day is walking to the fridge in order to retrieve it, you might be in trouble. To burn off 400 calories and that lovely sarnie, you'd need to either do a four-mile run, a Zumba class or 40 minutes of squat thrusts (that should bring everything back up nicely!).

But surely if we are going to make a sandwich it should be so good that we want to use two hands to pick it up especially when there is so much choice and go mad and move away from the cheddar and get creative!

We shouldn’t rate the sandwich as a second-rate option to fall back on when we can't think of anything better. It's time to show the sandwich some respect!  Let’s grow into a nation of sandwich appreciators (I can feel a society coming on).

One question which of course has to be "what is your favourite sandwich?" which to me is an incredibly challenging question and makes me draw breath dramatically like a salesperson before telling you the price of something!  It’s a severe mind meddle as how am I supposed to know what I'll be in the mood for? It differs dependent on the time of day or where am I and even the weather plays a part in my decision making!  

Sometimes I think it's hard to beat the classics you grew up with; jam, spam or ham! 

That memory for me of marmite and cucumber can be conjured up easily with the help of a mental image and get me reaching for the cupboard to retrieve my yeasty friend!

So, is yours a childhood favourite or perhaps an acquired taste you only snack in secret? Is it classic, a weird concoction or downright calorific? What do you spread on your bread?

Whatever it is celebrate during sandwich week – go wild and have a different filling every day!

Here’s some interesting facts about the two-slice sensation: -

It is thought that the humble sandwich was 'invented' by the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu in 1762. The story goes that during a game on the gambling table, reluctant to leave for dinner he asked for the meat from his meal between 2 slices of bread so that he could continue gambling and eat with just one hand. The rest they say, is history and this is how the "sandwich" earned its name. 

And today’s world is catching up with old Monty as we want to get on with our lives and grab a sandwich, the ultimate food to go!

He was First Lord of the Admiralty and a supporter of Captain James Book who named the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii) after him.  The South Sandwich Islands in the South Atlantic are also named after him.

The first written record of the word “sandwich” appeared in Edward Gibbons (1737-1794), English author, scholar, and historian, journal on November 24, 1762.

The earliest recorded use of the word ‘sandwich’ was in 1494 when it meant ‘some kind of cord’.

The verb ‘to sandwich’ is 200 years old. It was first used in 1815 to mean ‘to have a light meal’.

The earliest reference to a ‘bacon sandwich’ listed in the Oxford English Dictionary was by George Orwell in 1931.

According to researchers at Newcastle University, a bacon sandwich can cure a hangover.

A YouTuber once made a chicken sandwich literally from scratch. He grew a garden, harvested wheat, slaughtered a chicken, travelled to boil ocean water for salt, etc. It took him 6 months and cost him $1,500. He didn’t think it tasted very good.

Elvis Presley flew to Denver and back one night just to pick up a Fool’s Gold Loaf: an 8,000-calorie sandwich made from a hollowed-out loaf filled with an entire jar of peanut butter, one jar of jelly, and a pound of bacon.

Portugal’s national sandwich has steak, ham, fresh sausage, dry sausage, cheese – and then it’s covered in melted cheese and beer sauce.

New York-based restaurant Serendipity 3 has earned a Guinness World Records title after crafting the most expensive sandwich ever. The confidently named “Quintessential Grilled Cheese” is sold for an eye-watering $214 (£132). The exclusive and extravagant ingredients used include two pieces of French Pullman champagne bread which is made with Dom Perignon champagne and 24 karat edible gold flakes, white truffle butter and the very rare Caciocavallo Podolico cheese. The sandwich is then served on a Baccarat Crystal plate with South African Lobster Tomato Bisque as a dipping sauce.

The most expensive sandwich ever sold went for $28,000 on eBay – it was a grilled toast that seemed to have an image of Virgin Mary on it. The original owner, Diane Duyser of Miami, USA, was just about to tuck into her sandwich when she noticed it contained an image of the Virgin Mary. She sealed it, kept it for 10 years as a lucky charm, then went onto sell it to Goldenpalace.com, a Canadian online casino.

The largest sandwich weighed 2,467.5 kg (5,440 lb) in Michigan, USA on 17 March 2005. The sandwich contained 68 kg (150 lb) mustard, 468.1 kg (1,032 lb) corned beef, 117.9 kg (260 lb) cheese, 240.4 kg (530 lb) lettuce and 1,618.4 kg (3,568 lb) bread. The sandwich measured 0.44 m (17.5 in) thick and was 3.6 m (12 ft) long and 3.6 m (12 ft wide).

In 2008, an attempt in Iran to beat the record for the world’s biggest sandwich failed when the impatient crowd ate it before it was measured.

The longest sandwich measured 735 m (2,411 ft 5 in).  The attempt took place in Hazmieh village, Beirut, Lebanon, on 22 May 2011. The width of the sandwich was 12.5 cm and the overall estimated weight of the sandwich is 577.03 kg.

The most layers in a sandwich is 60 and was achieved at Madison Square Park in New York, USA on 22 October 2016.

The most people making sandwiches simultaneously is 2,586 and was achieved in Dallas, Texas, USA, on 27 February 2016.

The record for eating corned beef sandwiches is 790-gram (20 eight-ounce) sandwiches in 10 minutes – it is held by Joey Chestnut, who also once ate a record 47 grilled cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes.

Most Brits start thinking about lunch around 10am, with 12:30 the most common time for people to eat.

On that note got to go can hear the marmite just calling my name!