Although cucumbers originated in India more than 3,000 years ago, putting them in a sandwich is very much a British invention. The crop arrived in England in the late 14th century for the first time. However, they weren't put in sandwiches until the Victorian era, when they were served during afternoon tea.
Cucumber, cream cheese and dill really is the quintessential English tea sandwich and makes a lovely fresh crispy sandwich. We use English cucumber which are long an elegant and are usually covered in plastic wrap and have no seeds and a thin skin; unlike American cucumbers who have a thick skin, are short and dumpy and have lots of seeds. (ha..) American cucumber need preparing by cutting off the skin and removing the seeds. With English cucumber you don’t need to do that. Just wash and slice.
Use Philadelphia cream cheese as it’s a good quality creamy cheese. Spread 2 slices of bread with softened cream cheese just like you would butter – only more thickly. Add 6 sliced cucumbers to one slice of the sandwich. Sprinkle with dried dill weed. Place the 2nd slice cheese face down on to the cucumber side. Cut in to triangles.
You might also like the Cucumber Double Decker sandwich (like a double Decker bus) where we us 3 slices on bread and stack. You’d be amazed at how many people just love this with a side.
To take the crust off or not?
I know some people get quite upset if you leave the crusts on.
Most of the bread in the USA aren’t firm enough to cut the crusts off in my opinion and it reduces the size of the sandwich. However, if you want triangles to stand up on the plate like they do above, the crusts give the sandwich something to stand on. And as I was raised by a single mum who would have hated the waste – we always have our sandwiches with crust on and then you can decide.
1 tablespoon cream cheese – Philadelphia makes the best sandwich
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
Wash and slice ENGLISH cucumber (use a paring knife)
Add 4- 6 slices
Serve on 2 slices of white bread (tastes better of white) and cut to shape