You’d think it wouldn’t be too hard to come up with a name for a sandwich. Tasty tuna mayo. Fresh and spicy salmon wrap. Enlightening spinach tart. Perception-bending coronation chicken with vibesy lettuce. Easy.
Unless you’re the Waitrose marketing team, and you need to resort to archaic, jingoistic language to sell your sandwich (seriously, guys, just go with “enlightening.” You can have that for free).
According to the Daily Telegraph, the up-market supermarket chain is having to change the name of one of its sandwiches after accusations of sexism. The “Gentleman’s Smoked Chicken Caesar Roll,” part of a new range by chef Heston Blumenthal, has been heavily criticised on social media, with one customer calling it “ridiculous.”
Described by Waitrose as the “ultimate Caesar salad go-to,” the sandwich contains smoked chicken breast, beechwood smoked bacon, and parmesan, and is topped with anchovy mayonnaise and lettuce. It is unclear which part of the sandwich only men are permitted to consume.
Amy Lamé, the night tzar for London, was one of the first to take issue with the branding, posting a tweet saying, “I never knew sandwiches were gender specific, I’m female but thankfully Waitrose let me purchase this anyway.”
Some agreed with the sentiment, calling Waitrose out for unnecessarily gendered branding. One Twitter user commented: “What a ridiculous name!”
However, others pointed out that the name may derive from the fact that the sandwich contains anchovy mayonnaise, which is similar to old-school British condiment Gentleman's Relish. And also that, um, it is just a sandwich so maybe not the biggest threat to feminism in the modern world?
Fortunately, Waitrose has seen the error of its ways. A spokesperson for the supermarket told MUNCHIES: “It's never our intention to cause offence—we're not dictating who should eat this sandwich—we hope anyone who tries it will love the distinctive flavours. However, we are planning to change the name of the sandwich soon.”
To Enlightening Smoked Chicken Caesar Roll?? Anyone??