Cucumber sandwiches are a quintessentially British dish. Much of the credit for that, we believe, goes to Oscar Wilde who mentioned cucumber sandwiches multiple times in his popular play “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Indeed, Wilde is rumoured to have been a connoisseur of food and wine having famously said “I can’t stand people who do not take food seriously.”
Algernon’s Cucumber Sandwiches
Indeed, in The Importance Of Being Earnest, Algernon takes cucumber sandwiches very very seriously. When his aunt, Lady Bracknell is visiting he makes very sure to have cucumber sandwiches on hand. He’s also very strict about not allowing Jack to eat the sandwiches saying –
Algernon: Please don’t touch the cucumber sandwiches. They are ordered specially for Aunt Augusta. [Takes one and eats it.]
Jack. Well, you have been eating them all the time.
Algernon. That is quite a different matter. She is my aunt.
Algernon then proceeds to eat up all the cucumber sandwiches, blaming an absence of cucumbers in the market when Lady Bracknell asks for them. Considering Algernon seems unable to resist the sandwiches, we imagine they’re pretty darn delicious.
Cucumber sandwiches are traditionally made by placing thin slices of cucumber between crust less, lightly buttered white bread.
Traditionally, cucumber sandwiches have been served for high tea among upper classes in the United Kingdom and are used in literature to identify the consumers as the upper class.
Serve these sandwiches with tea or have them as a light supper.