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Chaloner Woods // Getty

12 Vintage Sandwiches You Can Make Today

Chaloner Woods // Getty
Chaloner Woods // Getty

The sandwich, a.k.a. foodstuff delivered inside a bread vehicle, is a timeless classic. The formula is open to endless interpretations, like lobster rolls, deep-fried Fluffernutter sandwiches, and donut grilled cheeses. In 1909, diners were arguably more creative with what they put between two slices of bread than they are today. The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich breaks the sandwich down into its seven main categories: fish, egg, salad, meat, cheese, nut, and sweet. No matter what you choose for filling, the turn-of-the-century publication emphasizes the importance of starting with good bread. A product “at least one day old” is preferred.

1. APPLE AND GRAPE SANDWICH

A sandwich can be so many things—a snack, a dessert, a weird salad you eat with your hands. This dish is a great example of all of the above. Start by chopping up apple, celery, and white grapes and toss the ingredients together with French dressing. Spread your mixture on thin slices of buttered white bread to make your sandwich.

2. OYSTER SANDWICH

Like oysters on the half-shell, the shellfish in this sandwich are garnished simply with oil, lemon juice, and Tabasco sauce. Mix together these ingredients with finely chopped raw oysters and serve on thinly-sliced white bread—add a lettuce leaf for some extra crunch.

3. HOT HAM NUMBER TWO

The book’s second take on a hot ham sandwich is reminiscent of a Monte Cristo. After spreading minced ham onto buttered bread, assemble the sandwiches and cut them into triangles. Dip the sandwich points into a mixture of beaten eggs, milk, and salt and cook them up on a hot griddle. Once the sandwiches have been fried French toast-style, serve with a slice of roasted tomato.

4. LEMON SANDWICH

Not many recipes feature whole lemon slices as the star ingredient. After removing the rind from the slices, dust them with powdered sugar and stack between buttered slices of white bread that have been cut into circles. A candied cherry on top will hopefully help to reduce the pucker-factor.

5. DAIRY SANDWICH

The dairy sandwich stays true to its name: The simple recipe asks you to spread fresh butter onto thin slices of Swiss and press the cheese together. There’s no mention of bread, suggesting this is literally meant to be a butter sandwich served between two slices of cheese. Unfortunately for sandwich purists, the protein-in-place-of-bread-theme has only gained traction in the last 100 years.

6. LOBSTER AND CAVIAR SANDWICH

Sandwiches aren’t typically associated with fine dining, but even luxurious ingredients like lobster and caviar can shine between bread. For this recipe, spread caviar onto lightly buttered bread and sprinkle with lemon juice. Spoon minced lobster meat on top and cover with the second slice of bread. Serve over a lettuce leaf—ideally on the beach with some chilled wine to wash it down.

7. OLIVE AND NUT SANDWICH

Unlike peanut and jelly, olive and nut never caught on as a popular pairing. This recipe calls for sandwich builders to finely chop olives with English walnuts and combine the ingredients together with mayonnaise. Served on buttered brown bread, the mixture makes for a light sandwich that’s big on texture.

8. FARMER SANDWICH

Pork chops and applesauce are commonly seen together on the dinner plate. Here they come together on a sandwich to make a savory-sweet lunch item. You can put this one together by layering thinly sliced cold, roast pork onto white bread and topping it with applesauce. Cap it with the second slice of bread and dig in.

9. TOMATO AND HORSERADISH SANDWICH

Here’s another curious food combination that’s failed to stand the test of time. To assemble a tomato and horseradish sandwich, start by sprinkling thin tomato slices with salt. Combine a half cup of horseradish with two tablespoons of mayonnaise and spread the mixture onto pieces of buttered white bread. Place the tomato slices between the bread and enjoy your meal while clearing out your sinuses at the same time.

10. CALF’S LIVER AND BACON SANDWICH

If you’re not a fan of calf’s liver, perhaps the addition of bacon will change your perspective. Take the well-done liver and chop it up fine with crisp slices of bacon. Season with salt, pepper, and ketchup and serve with a lettuce leaf between buttered graham or white bread.

11. EASTER SANDWICH

Whether or not you make it for Easter, this recipe should be saved for special occasions. Dip a crisp lettuce leaf in mayonnaise and lay that on a slice of buttered white bread. Fill the lettuce with slices of cold hard-boiled egg and sprinkle with salt and pepper. After the sandwich has been cut into squares, tie them up with “lavender baby ribbon” and present your guests with the world’s most adorable finger food—just remind them to remove the ribbon before taking a bite.

12. ASPIC JELLY SANDWICH

No list of early 20th century recipes would be complete without aspic. This retro delicacy is made by mixing gelatin and meat stock to create a savory JELLO mold. To prepare it for a sandwich, soak two ounces of gelatin in one cup of chicken stock until soft. Pour in three more cups of chicken stock that have been seasoned with cloves, parsley, celery, mace, salt, and pepper. Strain the liquid into a dish and mix in shredded chicken before refrigerating. Once the gelatin has set, cut it into “fancy shapes” and serve on buttered wheat bread.

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Warner Bros.
19 Shadowy Facts About Tim Burton's Batman
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Superhero movies are bigger than they’ve ever been before, but we arguably wouldn’t be here at all without 1989’s Batman. Produced at a time before comic book movies were considered big business, Tim Burton’s dark look at a superhero then best known for a goofy TV show is a pop culture landmark, and the story of how it was made is almost as interesting as the film itself. So, to celebrate Batman—which was released on this day in 1989—here are 19 facts about how it came to the screen.

1. AN EARLY MOVIE IDEA RELIED ON THE CAMPINESS OF THE CHARACTER.

As development of a Batman movie began, studio executives were still very tied to the campiness embodied by the Batman television series of the 1960s. According to executive producer Michael Uslan, when he first began attempting to get the rights to make a film, he was told that the only studio who’d expressed interest was CBS, and only if they could do a Batman In Outer Space film.

2. IT TOOK 10 YEARS TO MAKE.

Uslan lobbied hard for the rights to Batman, and finally landed them in 1979. At that point, the fight to convince a studio to make the film ensued, and everyone from Columbia Pictures to Universal Pictures turned it down. When Warner Bros. finally agreed to back the film, the issue of developing the right script had to be settled, and that took even more time. In 1989, after years of battling, Batman was finally released, and Uslan has been involved in some form in every Batman film since.

3. AN EARLY SCRIPT FEATURED BOTH THE PENGUIN AND ROBIN.

When Uslan finally got the chance to develop the film, he drafted legendary screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz, who had been a consultant on Superman, to write the script. The Mankiewicz script included The Joker, corrupt politician Rupert Thorne, a much greater focus on Bruce Wayne’s origin story, The Penguin, and the arrival of Robin late in the film. The script was ultimately scrapped, but you can see certain elements of it in Batman Returns.

4. TIM BURTON WASN’T THE FIRST POTENTIAL DIRECTOR.

Though Warner Bros. ultimately chose Tim Burton to helm Batman, over the course of the film’s development a number of other choices emerged. At various points on the road to Batman, everyone from Gremlins director Joe Dante to Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman was in line for the gig.

5. MANY STARS OF THE TIME WERE CONSIDERED FOR BATMAN.

The casting process for Batman was a long one, and involved a number of major stars of the day. Among the contenders for the title role were Mel Gibson, Bill Murray (yes, really), Kevin Costner, Willem Dafoe, Tom Selleck, Harrison Ford, Charlie Sheen, Ray Liotta, and Pierce Brosnan, who later regretted turning down the role.

6. TIM BURTON HAD TO FIGHT TO CAST MICHAEL KEATON.

At the time, Michael Keaton was best known for his comedic roles in films like Mr. Mom and Night Shift, so the thought of casting him as a vigilante of the night seemed odd to many. Michael Uslan remembers thinking a prank was being played on him when he heard Keaton’s name pop up. Burton, who’d already worked with Keaton on Beetlejuice, was convinced that Keaton was right for the role, not just because he could portray the obsessive nature of the character, but because he also felt that Keaton was the kind of actor who would need to dress up as a bat in order to scare criminals, while a typical action star would just garner “unintentional laughs” in the suit. Burton ultimately won the argument, and Keaton got an iconic role for two films.

7. JACK NICHOLSON WAS THE FIRST CHOICE FOR THE JOKER, BUT HE WASN’T THE ONLY CHOICE.

From the beginning, Uslan concluded that Jack Nicholson was the perfect choice to play The Joker, and was “walking on air” when the production finally cast him. He certainly wasn’t the only actor considered, though. Among Burton’s considerations were Willem Dafoe, James Woods, Brad Dourif, David Bowie, and Robin Williams (who really wanted the part).

8. TIM BURTON WON JACK NICHOLSON OVER WITH HORSEBACK RIDING.

When Nicholson was asked to discuss playing The Joker, he invited Burton and producer Peter Guber to visit him in Aspen for some horseback riding. When Burton learned that was what they’d be doing, he told Guber “I don’t ride,” to which Guber replied “You do today!” So, a “terrified” Burton got on a horse and rode alongside Nicholson, and the star ultimately agreed to play the Clown Prince of Crime.

9. EDDIE MURPHY WAS ONCE CONSIDERED TO PLAY ROBIN.

Though the character of Robin was ultimately scrapped because it simply didn’t feel like there was room for him in the film, he did appear in early drafts of the script, and at one point producers considered casting Eddie Murphy—who, you must remember, was one of the biggest movie stars of the 1980s—for the role. 

10. SEAN YOUNG WAS THE ORIGINAL VICKI VALE.

Burton initially cast Blade Runner star Sean Young as acclaimed photographer Vicki Vale, who would become Bruce Wayne’s love interest. Young was part of the pre-production process on Batman for several weeks until, while practicing horseback riding for a scene that was ultimately cut, she fell from her horse and was seriously injured. With just a week to go until shooting, producers had to act fast to find a replacement, and decided on Kim Basinger, who essentially joined the production overnight.

11. TIM BURTON WASN’T OFFICIALLY HIRED UNTIL BEETLEJUICE BECAME A HIT.

Though he was basically already a part of the production, Burton wasn’t officially the director of Batman right away. Warner Bros. showed interest in him working on the film after the success of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, but according to Burton they only officially hired him after the first weekend grosses for Beetlejuice came in.

“They were just waiting to see how Beetlejuice did,” Burton said. “They didn’t want to give me that movie unless Beetlejuice was going to be okay. They wouldn’t say that, but that was really the way it was.”

12. DANNY ELFMAN THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO BE FIRED UNTIL HE PLAYED THE MAIN THEME.

Danny Elfman is now considered one of our great movie composers, but at the time Batman was released he didn’t have any blockbuster credits to his name. He recalls meeting with Burton (with whom he had worked on Pee-wee’s Big Adventure) and producer Jon Peters to go over some of the music he’d already written for the film, and feeling “a lot of skepticism” over whether he should be the composer for Batman. It wasn’t until Burton said “Play the march,” and Elfman went into what would become the opening credits theme for the film, that he won Peters over.

“Jon jumped out of his chair, really just almost started dancing around the room,” Elfman said.

13. THE JOKER WASN’T ALWAYS GOING TO KILL BATMAN’S PARENTS.

In the final film, The Joker (then named Jack Napier) is revealed to be the gangster who guns down Bruce Wayne’s parents in the streets of Gotham City. It’s a twist that some comic book fans still dislike, and according to screenwriter Sam Hamm, it definitely wasn’t his fault.

“That was something that Tim had wanted from early on, and I had a bunch of arguments with him and wound up talking him out of it for as long as I was on the script. But, once the script went into production, there was a writer’s strike underway, and so I wasn’t able to be with the production as it was shooting over in London, and they brought in other people.”

Hamm also emphasizes that it was also not his idea to show Alfred letting Vicki Vale into the Batcave.

14. THE CLIMACTIC SCENE WAS WRITTEN MIDWAY THROUGH SHOOTING.

Though much of the film is still derived from Hamm’s script, rewrites continued to happen during shooting, and one of them involved the final confrontation between Batman and The Joker in a Gotham City clock tower. According to co-star Robert Wuhl, the climax was inspired by Jack Nicholson and Jon Peters, who went to see a production of The Phantom of the Opera midway through filming and watched as the Phantom made his final stand in a tower. Together, they somehow determined that a final fight in the tower was what Batman needed.

“The next day, they started writing that scene … the whole ending in the tower,” Wuhl said.

15. MICHAEL KEATON’S BATMAN MOVEMENTS WERE INSPIRED BY THE RESTRICTIONS OF THE COSTUME.

Batman fans still love to make jokes about the original costume, and Michael Keaton’s inability to turn his head (there’s even a dig at that in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight), but the restrictions of the costume actually inspired how Keaton performed as the Dark Knight. In 2014, Keaton revealed that his performance as Batman was heavily influenced by a moment when, while trying to actually turn his head in the suit, he ended up ripping it.

“It really came out of the first time I had to react to something, and this thing was stuck to my face and somebody says something to Batman and I go like this [turning his head] and the whole thing goes, [rriipp]! There was a big f***ing hole over here,” he said. “So I go, well, I've got to get around that, because we've got to shoot this son of a bitch, so I go, 'You know what, Tim [Burton]? He moves like this [like a statue]!’”

“I'm feeling really scared, and then it hit me—I thought, 'Oh, this is perfect! This is perfect.' I mean, this is, like, designed for this kind of really unusual dude, the Bruce Wayne guy, the guy who has this other personality that's really dark and really alone, and really kind of depressed. This is it.”

16. GOTHAM CITY WAS REAL, AND IT WAS EXPENSIVE.

Production designer Anton Furst put a lot of work into the incredibly influential designs for the film’s version of Gotham City, and the production was committed to making them pay off. The production ultimately spent more than $5 million to transform the backlot of London’s Pinewood Studios into Gotham City, and you can see the dedication to practical effects work in the final film.

17. PRINCE WAS PART OF THE PRODUCTION EVEN BEFORE HE JOINED IT.

Batman famously features original songs by Prince, who wrote so much new material for the production that he basically produced a full album. Even before the Purple One was drafted to write for the film, though, he was influencing it. Burton played Prince songs on set during the parade sequence and the Joker’s rampage through the museum.

18. THE FILM’S MARKETING WAS SO EFFECTIVE THAT IT INSPIRED CRIMES.

By the time Batman was actually on its way to release, it was becoming a phenomenon, and the marketing for the film was inspiring a frenzy among fans. People were buying tickets to other films just to see the first trailer, and selling bootleg copies of the early footage. The poster, featuring the iconic logo, was so popular that, according to Uslan, people were breaking into bus stations just to steal it.

19. IT WAS A BOX OFFICE LANDMARK.

Though studio executives resisted the idea of a “dark” Batman movie for years, the film ultimately set a new standard for box office success. It was the first film to ever hit $100 million in 10 days, the biggest film in Warner Bros.’ history at the time, and the box office’s biggest earner of 1989—and that’s not even counting the massive toy and merchandising sales it generated.

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