No time to sit down to a three-course meal? That's the predicament that fostered the invention of the sandwich ― more than two centuries ago. When the notorious 18th-century British gambler Sir John Montagu, fourth earl of Sandwich, couldn't afford to take time out from a 24-hour marathon to eat, he slapped meat between two slices of bread so he wouldn't miss a hand. It goes without saying that this clever portable meal, dubbed the sandwich, of course, caught on ― seems people are just as busy today as the famed earl. And markets and delis offer so many choices of breads and fillings, there's no need to repeat the same combo for months, unless you want to. Start with the five noble sandwiches here, then play inventor yourself.

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