Ah, the humble sandwich. We’ve all eaten them, and we’ve all enjoyed them. However, a sandwich is more than just something you might wrap up and pack in your lunch box. Cultures around the world have taken the sandwich and brought their own distinct flavor to this culinary staple food, so it’s possible to travel all around the world eating sandwiches and try something completely new each time. Let’s discover some amazing sandwiches from around the world, shall we?
I’ll start in my home country of the United States. We love sandwiches in this country and our sandwiches are quite diverse from region to region. One could go on a sandwich road trip through this country if they wanted to and their taste buds wouldn’t be disappointed! I hope you’ll forgive me for dedicating more real estate in this post to sandwiches in the United States. It’s just that, as an American, I’ve tried and loved a lot of these sandwiches over the years and I want to take this opportunity to write about their deliciousness for all of you. I promise I’ll get to some other countries with amazing sandwiches of their own soon…
Since I’m a Californian, I’m going to have to give a shout out to the BLTA sandwich, which originated right here in my home state but has since gained popularity nationwide. BLTA stands for bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado. Ummm…yum. We Californians love putting avocado on everything, probably because we grow a ton of them here in the state. Do what locals do and chow down on one of these awesome sandwiches next time you’re in town.
Another notable sandwich of California origin is the French Dip. Despite the name, this sandwich was definitely invented in California, though there is some debate over which restaurant did it first. Both Philippe the Original and Cole’s Pacific Electric Cafe claim to be the original, but that is up for debate. What I do know is that this sandwich consisting of rare beef, thinly sliced and placed in a French roll and served au jus is pretty freaking good. Use plenty of napkins, because this sandwich is a mess.
Let’s not forget the famous Po’Boy sandwich, which has it’s origins in New Orleans. It is a submarine style sandwich served on a baguette and comes in several varieties, usually beef or fried seafood. Simple, classic, and delicious.
Maine is synonymous with lobster, and the Maine Lobster Roll is an institution. This amazing sandwich is, in it’s purest form, lobster and mayonaise on a hot dog bun. Doesn’t sound too glamorous or exceptional, but do yourself a favor and try one for yourself. These things are yummy!
An ode to American sandwiches could not be written without a nod to the Philly Cheese-steak sandwich. This Philadelphia classic is made out of very thinly sliced pieces of beefsteak and melted cheese in a long hoagie roll and usually also includes onions and bell peppers. People I’ve met from Philly would like to remind people that they have some great food other than the cheesesteak, but really, you’ve got to try one when you’re in town.
I throw my hands up in the air sometimes…..but they're usually holding sandwiches. Celebrating the opening of Mad. Sq. Eats with this cheesesteak from @thetruffleist with provolone and truffle mustard. Truffle. Mustard. I'm not sure you understand what that tastes like, so I'll help you out. It tastes like how Jon Hamm looks. 😍👏🏻🐷 #cheesesteak #urbanspacenyc #skinnypignyc #thetruffleist
The beef brisket sandwich is a Texas classic. If you haven’t had one, Brisket refers to a cut of meat from the lower chest or breast of a cow. The Brisket sandwich typically comes on a crusty roll with beef brisket brushed in delicious barbecue sauce. If you’re passing through Texas, make sure to get in the mood with some local flavor and have yourself a Brisket!
Mention food in North Carolina, and the pulled pork sandwich will likely come up in conversation. What is pulled pork, you might ask? This is a method of cooking pork very slowly at a low temperature so that meat that would normally be tough comes out tender enough to be “pulled”, or shredded into tiny pieces. This meat is usually then mixed with some delicious Carolina barbecue sauce and served on a bun with some coleslaw.
16 hour cherry wood smoked pulled pork, coated in sticky bourbon bbq sauce, served in a homemade brioche bun. #bbq #proqsmokers #pulledpork #pulledporksandwich #pork #porkshoulder #burger #smokingmeat #jackdaniels #bbqsauce #food #foodofinstagram #foodie #cherrywood #oakwood #bun #homemade #baking #cooking #flavour #sticky #smokey #bourbon #whiskey #meat #meaty
Pastrami sandwiches are a New York specialty! Pastrami is a meat product of Jewish origin that is usually made from beef. It is prepared using a process of brining, seasoning with spices, and then smoking and steaming the meat. The resulting product is a deliciously salty and flavorful and utterly unique meat. These sandwiches are usually served on rye bread, but can also be found on French rolls and baguettes. They are served with mustard, pickles, and sometimes onions as well.
The Bánh mì is a wonderful sandwich from Vietnam. I haven’t been to Vietnam (yet!) but these yummy concoctions are quite popular here in So Cal as well, so I’ve certainly had my share over the years. Bánh mì is actually a Vietnamese term, meaning bread. The origins of this sandwich date back to the French colonial period in Vietnam when the French introduced the baguette to the country. A typical sandwich will include a combination of French and Vietnamese ingredients, sort of the original fusion cuisine. These ingredients can include (but are not limited to) jalapeño, pate, mayonaise, cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrots, and daikon. Typical meats found in this sandwich include pork, chicken, beef, and more. This sandwich comes in all different combinations of ingredients, so there is a Bánh mì to perfectly suit your tastes.
The croque monsieur is famously synonymous with France. It originated in France in bars and cafes as a quick meal or snack, but has become quite popular over the years. The croque monsieur is a simple baked or fried ham and gruyere sandwich served on thinly sliced bread. Another take on this classic is the croque madame, which is the same sandwich, except topped with a fried egg. I’m going to go ahead and say it: OM NOM NOM.
Oh mon dieu, monsieur! O nosso Croque Monsieur vai deixar você sem palavras. Recheado e cremoso como nenhum outro! Venha nos visitar. Hang Out – the coolest place in town. ☕🍷🍸🍴 Café & Happy Hour! 👉🏻 Rua Clodorico Moreira 43, prox ao Shopping Iguatemi. ⏱Ter, Qua das 13h às 21h. ⏱Qui, Sex e Sáb das 13h à 00h. #florianopolis #floripa #cafefloripa #serieslovers #friends #croquemonsieur
The jambon beurre is another classically French sandwich. It’s a super simple sandwich of ham and salted butter served on a baguette. Yum! Who said something needs to be complicated in order to be delicious?
I should also note that one thing I noticed while traveling in France is that there are sandwiches on baguettes available from street vendors everywhere. These sandwiches are usually simple combinations, such as brie and tomato or ham and cheese. These cheap, delicious sandwiches are perfect for the budget traveler in France!
Our neighbors to the South have boasting rights to some pretty fantastic sandwiches! I’m going to draw attention to the fantastically delicious cemita, which is a torta (sandwich) from Puebla, Mexico. It is served on an egg bread roll with sesame seeds that somewhat resembles a brioche. Ingredients can vary, but usually include meat, cheese, avocado, onions, red sauce, and herbs. If you see one of these awesome sandwiches on offer, try one, you won’t be disappointed.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the famous Döner Kebab, which originated in Turkey. The kebab is seasoned meat cooked on a rotisserie and served stuffed in pita bread with vegetables or salad. Usually, you’ll find things such as lettuce, tomato, onion, cabbage, cucumber and sauces inside of this delicious sandwich. This one is one of my favorites. Sadly, my more recent diagnosis of celiac disease prevents me from ordering these out, but I’ve improvised and made a few GF versions of my own at home because they are just that good. If you haven’t had a Döner Kebab, I suggest you get out there and try one!
I first discovered arepas at a street fair in San Diego that features little booths cooking up specialties from around the world. Since I love food and travel, I of course made it my mission to return to this street fair every week and sample different foods from around the world. The booth advertising Venezuelan cuisine had an item I had never tried before: Arepas, so I asked them to cook one up for me. Wow! I’m so glad I tried this delicious and unique sandwich. Originating from Venezuela and Colombia, arepas are made of ground maize dough (corn) and served with a variety of options for fillings, usually meat and cheese. Also I should mention that arepas are gluten free!! So eat up, my fellow celiacs.
I’m not going to ignore the sandwich accomplishments of our friends to the North, either. Canada, I’m looking at you. Let’s talk about the smoked meat sandwich, a Montreal specialty. The smoked meat is a kosher deli meat which is made out of beef brisket which is salted and cured with spices. It marinates for a week before it is smoked until fully cooked and then steamed. Similar to the pastrami sandwich in New York, this sandwich is usually served on rye bread with mustard. Yum!
Montreal Smoked Meat is on the board A brisket is brined and seasoned in a true Montreal style, hickory smoked then sliced thin and piled on rye, with yellow mustard. #eater #feastagram #montrealsmokedmeat #Montreal #rye #mustard #ajcdining #ajcwheretoeat #weloveatl #Atlanta #sandwich #sandwichporn #foodporn #instafood #foxbrosbbq #foxbrosbarbq
This is one I’ve never tried, but I would love to! The Gatsby is a South African specialty. It’s a submarine sandwich which is typically huge (about a foot long) and sliced into four portions. Originating from the Western Cape province in South Africa, this sandwich typically consists of long bread rolls filled with various fillings according to the taste of the sandwich eater. It always includes french fries inside the sandwich, however. This is one sandwich that you should probably save for a day that you’re really hungry and probably also with somebody else, because it’s so big you’ll probably want to split it.
I’m sure you’ve had a panini at some point in your life. You can thank Italy for that. No, seriously. Thank Italy, because without them we wouldn’t have this amazing sandwich to enjoy. Often made on ciabatta bread, a panini is simply a grilled or pressed sandwich. Typical paninis include ingredients such as salami, tomatoes, and lettuce, but I’ve seen endless varieties of this sandwich masterpiece.
What is your favorite sandwich? Any regional favorites I missed out on? I would love to hear all about your favorite sandwiches from around the world!