The Sandwich You Don’t Want to Eat

In 1896, New York State passed sweeping liquor regulations under the Raines Law, named after the state senator who sponsored it. The law raised liquor licenses dramatically, raised the drinking age, and most importantly, it mandated that bars not open on Sundays. However, like most laws, this one had some exceptions, and those exceptions led to loopholes — and terrible sandwiches. Hotel restaurants were still allowed to serve liquor, as long as it came with food. For owners of saloons, this provided an opportunity. When customers ordered an ale or whisky, the waiter or bartender would bring it out with a sandwich. Generally speaking, the sandwich was not edible. It was usually an old dried-out ruin of dust-laden bread and mummified ham or cheese. Other times it was made of rubber. Bar staff would take the sandwich back seconds after it had arrived, pair it with the next beverage order, and whisk it over to another patron’s table. Some sandwiches were kept in circulation for a week or more. The Raines Law was repealed in 1923 as part of an early pushback against Prohibition and its unintended consequences.

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020

On This Day

1869 - Thousands of businessmen were financially ruined after a panic on Wall Street. The panic was caused by an attempt to corner the gold market by Jay Gould and James Fisk.

Fact of the Day

In Japan, if a working day falls between two public holidays, that working day becomes an additional holiday by law, also known as “Citizen’s Holiday.”

Nature Oddities

When jaguars eat the leaves of the yaje plant, the are affected in much the same way as domesticated cats are affected by catnip.

Food and Drink

Tater tots were invented in 1953 when Ore-Ida founders were trying to figure out what to do with leftover slivers of cut-up potatoes. The product was first offered commercially in stores in 1956.
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