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The Five Worst Sandwiches Ever Concocted, According to TikTok’s Resident Sandwich Historian

It’s Barry Enderwick’s mission in life to make every sandwich recipe he can find from early 20th century cookbooks. These are easily the most disgusting he’s attempted

From the “Banana Salmon Sandwich” to the “Peanut and Mayonnaise Sandwich,” TikTok star Barry Enderwick has proven that there isn’t any sandwich he won’t eat. He started the channel Sandwiches of History a year ago on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube with the simple idea of making and trying one new sandwich a day from antique cookbooks. Since then, Sandwiches of History has exploded in popularity, especially on TikTok, where Enderwick has amassed 257,000 followers.

Digging into cookbooks from 1902, 1909, 1912, 1941 and several others, Enderwick says he’s found some very pleasant surprises on his journey. For example, there was a “Parmesan Sandwich” consisting of just grated parmesan and ketchup between saltine crackers that was inexplicably amazing. He’s also, unsurprisingly, made sandwiches that are so awful that no amount of salt, pepper or even bacon could ever redeem them. 

To that end, there have been a lot of weird and gross sandwiches over the past year, but Enderwick is pretty sure that these were the five worst.

5) Dairy Sandwich

Year: 1909

Cookbook: The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich by Eva Green Fuller

Barry’s Breakdown: “There’s really not much to talk about with the Dairy Sandwich. It’s just two buttered slices of Swiss cheese slapped together. It might be the only recipe I’ve come across that didn’t have bread at all. It just blows my mind that someone chose to write that down as a recipe. They must have been short on recipes for this book. I mean, the Dairy Sandwich tasted good, but, boy, did it feel wrong.”

4) Farmer’s Egg Sandwich

Year: 1912

Cookbook: Mrs. Rorer’s Sandwiches by Mrs. S.T. Rorer

Barry’s Breakdown: “This one was really baffling to me. It was just boiled eggs on buttered bread with dressing, but the instructions explicitly call for the eggs to be boiled for 30 minutes, which makes absolutely no sense. That’s way too long. As soon as I peeled them, the eggs reeked of sulfur and the yolks were gray! It was terrible. At no point in history did an egg from a chicken need to be boiled for 30 minutes. That was actually the first sandwich I remade. I did it with a properly boiled egg and it was really good. As written though, the sandwich just tasted like pure sulfur.”

3) Hot Sardine Sandwich

Year: 1941

Cookbook: 500 Tasty Sandwiches by Frances Troy Northcross

Barry’s Breakdown: “This was an open-faced sandwich with hot sardines topped with a cheese sauce that contained ketchup. A lot of people think that cheese doesn’t go with seafood, but sometimes it can. The problem with this was the combination of sardines, cheese and ketchup. I tried improving it with arugula and capers, but there was no saving it. There’s a lot of weird stuff in the 1941 book in particular. It’s like, ‘Hey, you can have peanut butter with chicken, or peanut butter with onions, or peanut butter with pickles.’ It was like whoever was making this book needed a lot of filler to get all the way to 500 sandwiches.”

2) Oyster Sandwich

Year: 1909

Cookbook: The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich by Eva Green Fuller

Barry’s Breakdown: “I love raw oysters, but have me chop them up and put them with olive oil between bread? It was like eating a slime sandwich. It was terrible. I couldn’t get past the texture of it.”

1) Anchovy Sandwich

Year: 1901

Cookbook: 101 Sandwiches by May E. Southworth

Barry’s Breakdown: “Oh god, the amount of anchovy paste they called for in this recipe was ridiculous. Anchovy paste can be good to add a salty, fishy note to something, but you have to use it sparingly. For this, it asked for equal parts anchovies and olives to be put on bread. It’s all salt! I had to throw that one away. That sandwich is one of the reasons I now make half sandwiches, because I was throwing out a lot of food when I was making whole sandwiches.”

“Honestly, I don’t think the Anchovy Sandwich ever could have tasted good, no matter what year it was from. A lot of the time, these sandwiches just seem dated as opposed to being truly terrible. I think that’s because — relative to someone in 1901 or 1941 — our palates have expanded to include a lot more interesting ingredients and combinations. Especially since the 1970s, cooking has changed a lot and sandwiches have been affected by that, too, which is really good news for us, since I’ve seen a lot of old recipes that we’re better off without.”