sandwichLet's toast the sandwich as it's British Sandwich Week. Sandwiches have come a long way since the Fourth Earl of Sandwich ordered meat between two slices of bread to keep hunger at bay while he continued gambled in 1762. With over 200 varieties of bread available and as many fillings to choose from, the sandwich is a versatile and tasty snack.

bread slicesFirst select your loaf. The final sandwich flavour will depend on the bread-filling combination. An intense flavoured filling needs a stronger tasting bread to match it so it won't get overpowered. Brussels pâté or cold beef matches well with wholemeal bread. While subtle vegetarian spreads work well with a white loaf.

The sandwich filling is a matter of personal choice and the variations are endless. Cheese is a universal favourite but can get boring. Try grating it (it does actually make it taste better) or adding salad. Mixing in mayonnaise, capers and olives adds a new dimension.

If you are stuck for filling ideas, visit With sandwich filling suggestions, ranging from the the Fried Egg and Bacon Buttie to My Best Butty to the Pesto, Avocado and Cheese Sarnie there’s something for meat eaters, veggies and kiddies.

bread stackA slice of advice

The Federation of Bakers has a detailed section on bread nutrition, broken down into fibre, salt, folic acid, calcium and gluten.

Andrew’s blog is devoted to making the perfect cheese sandwich. All you need to know about choosing the right bread, margarine and cheese. Andrew has a set method for arranging the filling to give a satisfying meal - this is no snack.

Open Sandwich is the website of the town of Sandwich, which it seems the Fourth Earl had only a tenuous connection. Brief history of the town, the Earls of Sandwich and the famous Fourth Earl, plus how he and the sandwich itself got their names.

book coverBiodynamics is the new buzz-word in wine making and French wine producer Nicolas Joly of Coulée de Serrant vineyard is one of the strongest advocates of this super-organic growing system. In his book What Is Biodynamic Wine?: The Quality, the Taste, the Terroir Joly explains that only by putting back into the soil everything nature produces, and I mean everything, can vines can grow and wine be made in harmony with the earth’s rhythms.

No alcoholAlcohol-free beers look like beer and smell like beer, but far too often they just don't taste like beer. Which is a shame, because there’s a large and growing market for ales without the alcohol. Motorists and muslims are prime targets, as are people on certain sorts of medication which don’t mix well with alcoholic drinks.

TwitterIt had to happen. Tweeting has been added to my vocabulary. Since 2008 my once-a-week column on Mature Times has been finding and recommending tasty wines. And now all that is available daily through Twitter. Every day I’ll tweet a tasting note on a supermarket wine and odds-on it’ll be the one I’ve just matched to my evening meal. So I’ll also let you know what nosh goes with what wine.