A ploughman's lunch is a cold snack or meal originating in the United Kingdom, sometimes eaten in a sandwich form, composed of cheese, cooked ham, pickle, bread and butter. It is often accompanied by a green salad; other common additions are half an apple, grapes, celery, pickled onions, pâté, crisps, diced hard boiled egg or beetroot.
The origins of the ploughman's lunch remain unclear. It appears to date back at least to the 1960s, when the Milk Marketing Board promoted the meal nationally to boost sales of cheese, and some investigations have concluded that the meal is nothing more than marketing. However, other sources suggest that a comparable meal has been called a ploughman's lunch since at least 1957, and the meal itself may have been popular as far back as before World War II under the related name ploughboy's lunch.
It is a common menu item in English pubs, where it is served with a pint of beer. It is considered a cultural icon of England. The familiarity of the ploughman's lunch has led catering companies to describe a sandwich containing Cheddar cheese, pickle and salad as a "ploughman's sandwich".
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Ploughman's Lunch , en.wikipedia.org
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Ploughman's Lunch - What is a Ploughman's Lunch , britishfood.about.com