Although eaten the world over, the Club Sandwich has always been closely associated with the USA, where it was first conceived and served.
As with many such recipes, the exact origin is subject to a little speculation however the most popular theory suggests it was first served around 1894 when Richard Canfield purchased The Saratoga Club House, a private gentlemen only gambling club in New York.
Although there are other stories including a more elusive one about some gentleman somewhere returning from his club late one night to find all his servants had retired. Being hungry, he just grabbed what he could from the larder and having enjoyed it so much, then began to spread the word to other club members.
Whichever is true, the name almost certainly came about due to its initial popularity at country clubs and it definitely existed in the United States by the late 19th century.
The Club Sandwich was also a favourite of the former King of
England, Edward VIII and his wife, Wallis Simpson and it
is said that she took great pride in making it.
Although today there are many variations the original club sandwich consisted of Chicken, Bacon, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Mayonnaise and not forgetting sliced bread.
Although it's believed that the original club sandwich was only made with two slices of bread, today it's customary to make it with three which creates what is known (in other circumstances) as a "double-decker" sandwich.
The bread should be thinly sliced and toasted and the fillings should be relatively thinly sliced - no door-steps here please. You can vary the order of the ingredients according to your personal preferences but here's a general guide.
1. Place some lettuce and a generous layer of mayonnaise on the first slice of toast, top with the chicken then place another slice of toast on top.
2. Place the bacon, tomato slices on the 2nd piece of toast, spread with more mayonnaise if you like, then top with the last slice of toast.
It's traditional to secure the sandwich at the four sides by spearing through all the layers with long wooden toothpicks before cutting into quarters which helps keep the fillings in order....and in place.