If it fits, it sits. No, we’re not talking about LOLcat – rather, we’re examining the British penchant for ‘unique’ sandwich filling choices after they’ve come under attack by our American counterparts.
Americans mocking British food is not a new thing, it’s even woven into our popular culture. Sometimes our dishes confuse them (for example, the fact that Bury black pudding isn’t an actual pudding), whilst others simply disgust them.
Last December one user on Twitter went viral after mocking the iconic chip butty – causing a huge pile on as people rushed to either agree with Jack or to valiantly fight the chip butty’s corner.
Inevitably, this led to a bit of an online culture war as Brits were quick to sling back some criticism the other way: criticising ‘spray on’ cheese and Thanksgiving in a can whilst defending some true English staples.
One thing everyone seemed to agree on though, surprisingly, was the Wigan kebab. Chiming in on the debate, US publishers BuzzFeed had this to say:
“Putting a pie in a bread roll is a brilliant idea.”
Curioser and curioser. The whole debate got us thinking, though, perhaps the Yanks do have a point. Perhaps some of our sandwich fillings are a bit weird.
Not the chip butty, obviously, but some of them could be considered a bit questionable – even by British standards. So, for a bit of fun, we decided to list the best ones we could think of here.
Know of any others? Let us know over on Twitter @themancUK.
Tomato ketchup, or brown sauce? It has to be ketchup, surely. We also know some people who forgo the top slice and simply have a bit of ketchup on toast for breakfast.
Pot noodle sandwiches
Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw is reportedly a fan of this one, even marking his return to the drive time slot with a bespoke pot noodle sandwich cake back in 2018.
A true nostalgic childhood treat, featuring all the best bits and nothing less (or at least that’s how we always saw it when we were little).
Also known as a pie barm or wigan kebab, this is a sandwich that’s truly unique. It also gets the nod of approval from Americans.
To be honest, jam sandwiches have always felt a little bit lacking to us – especially when you’re digging their soggy, squashed remains out of the bottom of your school bag. We might have to agree with the Americans on this one.
Corned beef sandwiches
The ultimate reminder that your grandparents lived through rationing.
Corner shop sandwiches
An elevated take on the sugar sandwich, the addition of granulated is not a question in our books. What is of the utmost importance, though, is whether you have yours smashed or sliced.
Roast dinner leftover sandwiches
Beef and horseradish is an iconic combo, enough said. We’re surprised the Americans didn’t like this one, given the iconic moist maker episode in FRIENDS, we figured this was a thing.
The greatest of all time, the crisp butty is not to be messed with. Only to be eaten on the cheapest white bread, it’s the best of them all (in our humble opinion). One pub group in Manchester even has its own crisp butty menu, thank you very much.
Rio Ferdinand is helping change young lives with community programmes in Oldham and Salford
Ex-Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand and his foundation’s wonderful work is helping better the lives of young people in Oldham, Salford and across Manchester as a whole.
Over the past year, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and The Guinness Partnership have been putting together a vital social initiative aimed at providing opportunities and resources to young people across Greater Manchester, helping them develop their skills and aspirations for future working life.
Now, after a hugely successful 12-month campaign, their skills and progression community programme, participants are well and truly starting to feel the impact, with 90% of those taking part now stating that they are enjoying a clear idea and focus on what they want to do for a career.
It may have be thriving in Salford and Oldham at the moment, but given the benefit the scheme has already had — not to mention the ambition the Rio Ferdinand Foundation has shown around various areas of the UK since being set up in 2012 — we can only see this spreading further across the region.
The skills-based initiative engages young people aged under 25 years old and living in Guinness homes in a six-month skills-based programme which has been up and running in the two Manc boroughs, as well as the London boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth, since March 2022.
Young people from both Oldham and Salford take part in a weekly schedule of activities designed to tackle youth unemployment, including digital media training (photography, product design, filmmaking, podcasting), building and construction, CV workshops, mock interviews and more.
Not only do these shadowing opportunities garner confidence and raise aspirations among other young people in the local community, but they also help directly develop their employability skills via mentoring.
For instance, Matthew, 19 from Royton in Oldham, completed the programme and then was supported to apply to the Guinness Aspire Awards to request funding to purchase camera and lighting equipment to help him start a small local photography business. Quality stuff.
Matt says that the scheme “has been an amazing opportunity and has given [him] a chance to get back on the right path… I know what I want to do now and can’t wait to start… I would recommend that other people in my position get involved with it in the future.”
As well as markedly increasing participants health and well-being, all 100% of those involved across Salford and Oldham reported feeling more confident, with many now enjoying opportunities with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation’s partners such as Warner Music, Kiss FM, The Jockey Club and the Gym Group.
Speaking on the programme’s success, Rio himself said in a statement: “The Foundation is committed to working with young people at the heart of their communities to offer support, training, and opportunities to those that need it… engaging with the Guinness Partnership has provided a great boost to our reach and our work”.
Well in, Rio. Thankfully, he isn’t the only ex-Manchester-based footballer still trying to make a difference in the local community either:
Campbell, 38, was found dead in his home in Mossley, Tameside, on Saturday 3 July. He had been fatally assaulted and died of the injuries he sustained in the attack.
Belfield was arrested on 23 March 2023 by Suriname authorities on suspicion of drug-related offences – he’ll likely remain in the South American nation’s jurisdiction to face these charges.
Then GMP want to bring him back to Manchester to face questioning from GMP’s Major Incident Team.
Detective Chief Inspector Liz Hopkinson from GMP’s Major Incident team said: “The news of Belfield’s arrest is an important development in our investigation, we will be working with international law enforcement agencies to bring Belfield back to Manchester and continue in our pursuit to find answers for Thomas’ family.
“Through vigilance shown by our colleagues in South America, Belfield was recognised by Suriname’s law enforcement upon his arrest and information regarding his whereabouts was shared with our Force Critical Wanted Unit.
“We have previously released numerous appeals to ask for help in finding him and we thank the public for their continued support in this case.
“This is an excellent result which shows once again, that UK law enforcement does not give up on finding those abroad who are wanted for offences in the UK.”