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Cucumber Sandwiches

1049 of 1160 nominations


Cucumber Sandwiches

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Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber sandwiches: made with fresh springy white bread, lightly buttered and with the crusts cut off – the perfect cool summer snack to go with your afternoon tea. Cucumber sandwiches achieved literary notoriety in Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) when Algernon devours an entire plate full in the first act and there are none left for his aunt, Lady Bracknell. They are presented by Jack as being a delicacy: “Hallo! Why all these cups? Why cucumber sandwiches? Why such reckless extravagance in one so young? Who is coming to tea?”

Cucumbers originate in Southern Asia where they have been grown for thousands of years. They were an early traveller to Europe and were enjoyed by the Romans before being cultivated in greenhouses at the splendid court of Louis XIV. Samuel Johnson, however, was not a fan: “A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing.” He doesn’t mention whether he likes them in sandwiches. Probably not.


Your comments

Cucumber Sandwiches are just so quintessentially English

Pauline Sayers

I am reminded of my grandmother when I think about cucumber sandwiches. She always made my sister and I a batch when we visited her. They became a favourite of mine and they still are. They bring back happy childhood memories of the late 50s, early 60s. I suppose they were that era's equivalent of today's MacDonald's 'happy meal'.
Lorraine Hillier

This is a traditional English snack... high tea
Bryan Brown

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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer