Why We Love Funeral Sandwiches and How Exactly They Got Their Name


As a lover of comforting and delicious food, one dish that has always held a special place in my heart is the humble funeral sandwich. Now, before you raise an eyebrow at the name, let me assure you that these sandwiches are not as morbid as they may sound. In fact, they are a staple at southern celebrations and church homecomings, where they are also known as “party sandwiches”. Allow me to take you on a journey through the world of funeral sandwiches, their history, and why they are loved by both adults and kids alike.

Traditionally prepared for funeral spreads, funeral sandwiches have become a beloved dish for many occasions. The beauty of these sandwiches lies in their versatility. Whether you’re hosting a family gathering, a potluck, or simply craving a tasty snack, funeral sandwiches always come to the rescue. The basic components of these sandwiches include a bun, usually soft and fluffy, layered with meat, typically ham, cheese, and a spread such as mayonnaise or mustard. However, the possibilities are endless, and you can customize them to suit your taste.

One of the reasons why funeral sandwiches have gained such popularity is their ease of preparation. They require minimal effort, making them a go-to option when you’re short on time or cooking for a large crowd. The assembly process is as simple as layering the ingredients between the buns and then baking or chilling them, depending on your preference. The best part? Funeral sandwiches can be served both hot and cold, depending on your mood and the occasion.

What I find truly remarkable about funeral sandwiches is their ability to please everyone, from young to old. Kids love their simplicity and the delightful combination of flavors, while adults appreciate their nostalgic charm and the comfort they bring. These sandwiches are a hit at family gatherings, where they disappear almost as quickly as they are served. Moreover, funeral sandwiches travel well, making them an ideal choice for picnics, road trips, or any event that requires a portable and crowd-pleasing dish.

source: Photo by Paul Metzger

While the classic combination of ham, cheese, and a spread is undeniably delicious, funeral sandwiches offer endless opportunities for experimentation. You can add a variety of ingredients such as turkey, roast beef, or even vegetarian options like grilled vegetables or tofu. The choice of cheese is also up to you – from cheddar to Swiss, the possibilities are endless. Additionally, you can elevate the flavors by incorporating different spreads like pesto, honey mustard, or even a tangy barbecue sauce. The only limit is your imagination!

One of the most appealing aspects of funeral sandwiches is their ability to serve a large number of people. A single batch can yield plenty of servings, making them perfect for gatherings of any size. Whether you’re hosting a small get-together or a grand celebration, funeral sandwiches will ensure that no one leaves hungry. They are also an excellent option for those who prefer to have leftovers, as they can be easily stored and enjoyed later.

Funeral sandwiches are a delightful and versatile dish that has stood the test of time. From their origins as a traditional funeral spread to being a staple at southern celebrations and church homecomings, these sandwiches have become a beloved part of many occasions. Their simplicity, deliciousness, and ability to feed a crowd make them a go-to choice for both adults and kids. So, the next time you’re in need of a crowd-pleasing dish, give funeral sandwiches a try – you won’t be disappointed!