November is National Bread Month
A recent survey commissioned by the Grain Foods Foundation and conducted online by Harris Interactive indicates that more than a third (41 percent) of American adults eat sandwiches up to six times a week, and more than 60 percent of American adults eat a sandwich at least once per week. In fact, Americans like their sandwiches so much that 86 percent of adults maintain they would rather spend their lunchtime eating a sandwich than checking Facebook.
It is worth noting that 2012 marks the 250th anniversary of the sandwich. The beloved food form was born in England in 1762, when Sir John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, didn't want to put his cards down in the midst of a marathon game of poker so requested his meat be served to him between two slices of bread. With Americans now consuming over a billion sandwiches a year, sandwiches may in fact be our most popular national dish.
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the sandwich and to showcase its star ingredient – the bread – during National Bread Month, the Grain Foods Foundation has enlisted celebrity chef and sandwich aficionado Bryan Voltaggio to create four, exclusive sandwich recipes showcasing the vast potential of this kitchen staple.
"Sandwiches have long been a go-to meal for my family, which inspired me to open an entire restaurant dedicated to this highly versatile food," said Voltaggio. "Sandwiches can be dressed up or served casual, taste great, and more importantly, they're also one of the healthiest, most convenient and affordable foods available."
In fact, 77 percent of US adults cite convenience and 59 percent taste as top reasons they eat sandwiches. Health also plays a major role when choosing a sandwich for lunch, with more than three-quarters of Americans (83 percent) citing nutrition as a reason to go with the grain. Sandwiches can provide a complete meal with grains, protein, dairy and veggies (65 percent) They also provide two full servings of grains (26 percent), and many types of bread are rich in B vitamins, folic acid, iron and fiber (22 percent).
"Bread and grains provide many of the essential nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy and help fight diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and birth defects," said Christine Cochran, executive director of the Grain Foods Foundation. "That's why the Dietary Guidelines for Americans continue to recommend eating six one-ounce servings of grain foods each day, with at least three servings coming from whole grains."
To view Chef Voltaggio's sandwich recipes, and for expert nutrition advice as well as video tips for including more wholesome bread and grains in your diet, please visit gowiththegrain.org.