A “shamrock sandwich” is one specialty that is made for St. Patrick’s Day. There appears to be no one recipe for the shamrock sandwich; in every decade, the recipes are different. Vatious green items have appeared in the shamrock sandwiches, such as lettuce, cucumber and celery.
The one similarity in all the sandwiches is usually the shamrock shape. A 1921 article explained the shamrock-shape cutter: “This ‘shamrock’ cutter is nothing more or less than the ‘club’ cutter of the sandwich set.” Shamrock sandwiches were shaped similar to the “club” sandwiches (modeled after the “club” card).
“Shamrock sandwiches” have been cited in print since at least 1905.
Wikipedia: St. Patrick’s Day
Saint Patrick’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is a yearly holiday celebrated on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (circa AD 387–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. It began as a purely Christian holiday and became an official feast day in the early 1600s. However, it has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Ireland’s culture.
It is a public holiday on the island of Ireland; including Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and Montserrat, among others.
The shamrock is a symbol of Ireland. It is a three-leafed old white clover. It is sometimes of the variety Trifolium repens (a white clover, known in Irish as seamair bhán) but today usually Trifolium dubium (a lesser clover, Irish: seamair bhuí).
The diminutive version of the Irish word for “clover” (“seamair”) is “seamróg”, which was anglicised as “shamrock”, representing a close approximation of the original Irish pronunciation. However, other three-leafed plants — such as black medic (Medicago lupulina), red clover (Trifolium pratense), and wood-sorrel (genus Oxalis) — are sometimes designated as shamrocks. The shamrock was traditionally used for its medical properties and was a popular motif in Victorian times.
22 March 1905, Montpelier (VT) Argus and Patriot, pg. 2:
Elaborate refreshments of shamrock sandwiches, cookies and cake were served.
10 March 1906, Waterloo (IA) Times-Tribune, pg. 5, col. 2:
14 March 1909, San Jose (CA) Mercury News, second section, pg. 22:
For menu, serve Belfast salad; shamrock sandwiches and biscuit, creamed sweetbreads and peas served in Pat’s caps; Irish tongue, sliced thin; shillalahs (cheese straws); salted almonds from Cork; Killarney stuffed olives, emerald coffee, with white loaf sugar and whipped cream, colored green with pistachio, Dublin bonbons.
The book of entertainments and frolics for all occasions
By Mary Dawson and Emma Paddock Telford
Philadelphia, PA: D. McKay
The shamrock sandwiches may be slices of bread and butter folded together and cut out in trefoil shape, with a tasty filling of lettuce or watercress with mayonnaise dressing.
16 March 1915, Philadelphia )PA) Evening Public Ledger, pg. 10, col. 2:
Take thin slices of bread, cut in heart shape, spread with butter, lay one leaf of salad, minced hard-boiled eggs, celery and nuts mixed with mayonnaise and a few drops of lemon juice on buttered bread; press another heart-shaped piece on top and tie with green ribbons.
12 March 1921, Appleton (WI) Post-Crescent, “St. Patrick’s Day Tea,” pg. 5, col. 2:
This “shamrock” cutter is nothing more or less than the “club” cutter of the sandwich set.
4 March 1932, Big Spring (TX) Daily Herald, “Decorations, Food In Keeping WIth St. Patrick’s Day Parties” by Josephine Gibson, pg. 5, col. 5:
SHamrock Sandwiches: Mix equal amounts of finely chopped celery and nutmeats. Moisten with Mayonnaise Salad Dressing. Spread between very thin layers of fresh bread and cut with a shamrock cutter.
Google News Archive
4 February 1933, St. Petersburg (FL) Evening Independent, pg. 16, col. 2:
Chop very fine 1 green pepper, 1 peeled cucumber and some lettuce hearts and 1 sweet pickle. Mix with mayonnaise, spread between slices of white bread. Cut with a fancy Shamrock cutter that may be bought for the purpose.
Mrs. H. H. Holbert,
1006 23rd avenue north.
Google News Archive
7 March 1934, Gettysburg (PA) Times, pg. 4, col. 5:
wenty-four slices white bread; 1-4 cup butter, soft; 3 tablespoons chopped green peppers; 3 tablespoons chopped pickles; 1-2 cup white cream cheese; 1-8 teaspoon salt; 2 tablespoons cream.
Arrange bread slices in pairs. Mix rest of ingredients until very soft and creamy. Spread on bread, press together as sandwiches and cut out shamrock shapes. Wrap in waxed paper and damp cloth and store in ice box until serving time.
Google News Archive
16 March 1934, Lewiston (ME) Evening Journal, magazine, pg. A3, col. 4:
Shamrock Sandwiches—cut in the shape of Shamrocks, filled with minced parsley and canned mashed asparagus tips blended with mayonnaise.