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A Mrs Beeton Recipe: Nut! Sandwiches!

Say hi to the grossest historical recipe I’ve ever made!

A little while ago, I was talking to a friend about the “Vegetarian Cookery” section of my c.1938 copy of Mrs Beeton’s Household Management. I told them that I was pleasantly surprised at some of these recipes.⁠

Then I saw the recipe for “Nut Sandwiches.”⁠

Nut Sandwiches – from Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management

Ingredients – Walnuts finely chopped, Mayonnaise sauce (p. 211), cayenne or Krona pepper, thin slices of white or brown bread and butter.

Method – Moisten the nuts with a little mayonnaise sauce, spread rather thickly on bread and butter, and sprinkle lightly with red pepper. Cover with slices of bread and butter, trim off the crusts, cut into triangles. Dish up, and serve garnished with cress or parsley.

Time – About 1/2 an hour. Sufficient, allow 2 to each person.

⁠Chopped nuts and mayonnaise sauce? It sounded vile. I was so excited. My friend encouraged me to try it and give them a full report.⁠


Full disclosure: I did not make the “mayonnaise sauce” the recipe mentions. This was partly out of sheer laziness, and partly because my friend and I agreed I shouldn’t make a nut sandwich I could actually like. The disgustingness of this sandwich seemed almost like conceptual art.

Maybe that was a mistake. Maybe making the mayonnaise sauce would have redeemed the sandwich at least enough for me to be able to have more than one bite. My full report to my friend was this:

I ate one mouthful while running to the kitchen to throw the entire thing in the trash.

I tried, I really did. I even chewed it! But it was not to be.

Those poor 1930s vegetarians. What did they ever do to deserve this?

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