Sandwich Expert Reveals The Worst Sandwiches He's Ever Tasted

On TikTok, Sandwiches of History is making lunch from some unusual ingredients.

Sandwiches of History is a social media empire I can't get enough of. It's a website, YouTube channel (23,000 subscribers), Instagram account (170,000 followers), and TikTok account (304,000 followers), all run by and starring Barry Enderwick, an affable 55-year-old with an endlessly inquisitive appetite for sandwiches. It's pretty straightforward: Enderwick combs through old sandwich recipes across all walks of history and recreates them for modern-day enjoyment.

The Guardian recently published a profile on Enderwick, who has spent his career in marketing yet always had a side interest in food. He's had other social media accounts in the past where he tasted savory ice creams and various potato chip flavors, but his sandwich obsession has truly hit the big time. He has even inked a deal on a cookbook full of recipes for—you guessed it—sandwiches. But given how many sandwiches Enderwick has eaten over the years, not all of them have been winners.

The best and worst Sandwiches of History

There is nothing comparable to the delight of a well-made sandwich. And since everyone loves engaging in friendly fights about the best ones, we don't often dwell on the lousy ones we encounter. Endewick's top five, as shared with The Guardian, are a simple tomato sandwich, a classic 1930s Reuben, a traditional pan bagnat (a French tuna sandwich with egg and anchovies), the rou jia mo (a Chinese beef sandwich from around 200 B.C.), and an intriguing club sandwich from 1974 featuring prawns, mayonnaise, condensed mushroom soup, and grated cheese.

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They all sound delicious, but to get to the best ones, you've got to sift through the worst ones, right?

This isn't a matter of rubbery cold cuts or flavorless bread—the worst sandwiches featured on Sandwiches of History sound particularly bad. Here are Enderwick's least favorite sandwiches tested for the internet:

  • A 1912 cheese sandwich with an excessive amount of salt in it
  • A sandwich called the Goblin from 1946 featuring Brazil nuts, deviled ham, avocado, and Worcestershire sauce, served up on a doughnut
  • An egg salad sandwich that calls for 30-minute-boiled eggs (this is also from 1912—what a cursed year for sandwiches)
  • A 1909 raw chopped oyster sandwich (which he calls "a slimy mess")
  • But the worst sandwich of all is one that also sounds the most interesting; if anything, it ties with the raw oyster sandwich. It's a yeast sandwich from 1936, featuring a whole block of compressed yeast mixed with ketchup and spread on buttered bread.

    "No plus-up, no redemption," he says in the video after eating a bite and throwing the rest in the garbage. "That's a terrible idea."

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    He later posted a follow-up video after learning more about the sandwich's history. Further research suggested that the "table sauce" called for in the recipe was likely closer to Worcestershire sauce than ketchup. But after tasting it this way, Enderwick still hated it. I guess they can't all be winners.

    I've certainly consumed a few duds in my life, but the problems were mostly due errors in execution, rather than the ingredients being gross or inedible. So what say you? Would you try a raw chopped oyster sandwich? How about one made out of a yeast cake?

    (For more on this topic, head over to the Sandwich Idiot, who's also wonderful.)

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