Flat breads of only slightly varying kinds have long been used to scoop or wrap small amounts of food en route from platter to mouth throughout Western Asia and northern Africa.
From Morocco to Ethiopia to India, bread is baked in flat rounds, contrasting with the European loaf tradition.
In the United States, the sandwich was first promoted as an elaborate meal at supper.
By the early twentieth century, as bread became a staple of the American diet, the sandwich became the same kind of popular, quick meal as was already widespread in the Mediterranean.
In Spain, where the word sandwich is borrowed from the English language, It is otherwise known as a bocadillo.
Similar usage applies in other Spanish-speaking cultures, such as Mexico, where the word torta is also used for a popular variety of roll-type sandwiches.(In South Australia, there is a regional variant of the roll, superficially similar to a club sandwich, where the bread roll is sliced three times with parallel cuts, and filling is put in the first and third openings, but not the second.This makes the resulting double cut roll easier to handle: the top half and the bottom half are eaten separately.) Any hot item based on a bread roll is referred to as a burger, never as a sandwich.As well as being homemade, sandwiches are also widely sold in restaurants and can be served hot or cold.There are both savoury sandwiches, such as deli meat sandwiches, and sweet sandwiches, such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.Sandwiches are a popular type of lunch food, taken to work, school, or picnics to be eaten as part of a packed lunch.The bread may be plain or be coated with condiments, such as mayonnaise or mustard, to enhance its flavour and texture.The sandwich's popularity in Spain and England increased dramatically during the nineteenth century, when the rise of industrial society and the working classes made fast, portable, and inexpensive meals essential.In London, for example, at least seventy street vendors were selling ham sandwiches by 1850; during that decade sandwich bars also became an important form of eating establishment in western Holland, typically serving liver and salt beef sandwiches.However, hot sliced (not ground) beef between two slices of toasted bread is referred to as a steak sandwich: it is the sliced loaf bread that distinguishes the steak sandwich from a burger.The word butty (a reference to the fact that butter is often used in British sandwiches) is common in some northern parts of England as a slang synonym for "sandwich", particularly to refer to certain kinds of sandwiches including the chip butty, bacon butty, or sausage butty.