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Jam sandwich (food)

Jam sandwich
Fig jam.jpg
A fig jam sandwich
CourseLunch or snack
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Main ingredientsSliced bread, jam

A jam sandwich is usually composed of two slices of bread with jam in the middle. It is normally consumed at lunchtime or as a snack. If another spread is added, particularly peanut butter, it becomes a variation of the PB&J sandwich.


Jam sandwiches are thought to have originated at around the 19th century in the United Kingdom. In Scotland, they are also known as pieces and jam, or jeely pieces. The jam sandwich was an affordable food which was a major part of the diets of the lower/working-class people of cities such as London and Glasgow.[citation needed] One plausible reason for this was that the ingredients that the jam sandwiches were made from cost little to manufacture and due to taxes being lifted on sugar in 1880, it became widely available as a cheap foodstuff. Traditionally, jam sandwiches are just jam and bread, but with the invention of the toaster oven a variety of open jam sandwich became popular now known as jam and toast. Today, jam sandwiches are mainly consumed by children and the elderly; one can say "[a jam sandwich] is one of the greatest simplest pleasures of life".[1] Shops do not often sell individual jam sandwiches.[2]


In popular culture

The popular Scottish folk song The Jeely Piece Song, which appeared in the 1960s, humorously describes the effect of new social housing policies on the eating habits of Scottish youngsters.[3] The lyrics were written by Adam McNaughton. It was performed by Matt McGinn and many others.

The musical group Jethro Tull referenced a jam sandwich in their 1971 song "Up the 'Pool."[4] 'The 'Pool' is short for Blackpool, Lancashire, in the north of England, and singer Ian Anderson adopts a Lancashire inflection and colloquialisms[5]: "I'm going up the 'Pool/ from down the smoke [referring to London and the more industrialized south of England] below/ to taste me mum's jam sarnies/ and see our Auntie Flo."

See also


  1. ^ "Tim Hayward: The significance of the jam sandwich". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-09-26.
  2. ^ "Tim Hayward: The significance of the jam sandwich". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-09-26.
  3. ^ "BBC - Scotland - What can you learn from the Jeely Piece song?". Retrieved 2015-09-26.
  4. ^ "Living in the Past (album)", Wikipedia, 2019-04-07, retrieved 2019-04-12
  5. ^ "living3". 2008-06-22. Retrieved 2019-04-12.