Sandwiches Around the World
November 30, 2010 8:19 AM   Subscribe

Beyond PB&J - Sandwiches From Around the World. And since they left it out, here is the Buenos Nachos Burger. Basically it's a Whopper with nachos on it; currently only available in the Netherlands.
posted by morganannie (60 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
So hungry now.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:23 AM on November 30, 2010

Bánh mì Bánh mì Bánh mì Bánh mì Bánh mì Bánh mì Bánh mì Bánh mì YESSSSS
posted by FatherDagon at 8:26 AM on November 30, 2010 [4 favorites]

I would compose a spoof of "This is Just to Say" about banh mi but I fear that my drool might short out my keyboard.
posted by specialagentwebb at 8:27 AM on November 30, 2010

They left out Uruguayan chivitos. (Anthony Bourdain trying chivitos).
posted by needled at 8:27 AM on November 30, 2010

English chip butty

As is usual from England, a well-named foodstuff that pretty much tells you what it will taste like.

If you can't pick it up, it isn't a sandwich.
posted by DU at 8:28 AM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

that's a Burger King Whopper, topped with tortilla chips
This is a sandwich that could only be conceived in a country with legal marijuana

Uhhh...I've been putting chips inside of homemade hamburgers for literally decades. It gives a really nice crunch.
posted by DU at 8:30 AM on November 30, 2010

And I started doing that as a notoriously picky eater living in the middle of Iowa in case you are thinking I was a globe trotter or something.
posted by DU at 8:32 AM on November 30, 2010

Huh? I've never heard of a vegetarian Pakistani bun kabab (#14). The patty, known as a shami kabab, looks like a falafel and has lentils (chana daal) in it, but is made with minced beef, goat or chicken. Delicious. It's usually served in a soft, greasy burger bun with a simple omelette and a mixed salad, plus neon coloured tomato sauce.
posted by tavegyl at 8:33 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Why no pictures for 12-15? :(

Also, my dad is from Taiwan and I never knew about that breakfast sandwich. Whenever we went there, we had rice porridge for breakfast. I am going to call my dad and express disappointment.
posted by spec80 at 8:36 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

But be warned: it's usually sprinkled with cilantro, so don't be surprised by an herby kick when you take a bite.

posted by showbiz_liz at 8:37 AM on November 30, 2010 [12 favorites]

There's a fun sandwich quiz on Sporcle too.
posted by kmz at 8:37 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

There is such a thing as a Dutch Whopper. It's a hamburger with a prostitute on it.

Obvious, but I almost spit my coffee.
posted by hanoixan at 8:38 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Shwarma is the one sandwich to rule them all.
posted by electroboy at 8:49 AM on November 30, 2010 [5 favorites]

Giant... cake...sandwich??

Oh, Sweden, I've always felt a certain call from your pristine lands, but until this day I never knew why!
posted by Mizu at 8:53 AM on November 30, 2010

Okay, the lobster roll is a questionable item (but I guess they needed *some* American stuff in there), and the fact that they left out Greek Gyros is a crime. A classic Ruben on Rye is always a win for the Euro's when they come to visit.

As for the chips/fries sammichs: me and my brother used to put fries on our burgers from McD's. This was loooong before bacon toppings were common.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 8:55 AM on November 30, 2010

I think shwarma is supposed to represent the gyro/doner kebab family of pressed lamb on pita sandwiches.
posted by electroboy at 9:03 AM on November 30, 2010

On behalf of my Nova Scotian family, I'd like to reclaim No. 10. For indeed the Nova Scotia lobster roll is a simple, sublime delight, when properly prepared and consumed. The meat is not shredded, however. The texture should be closer to potato salad than tuna salad.

Here's what you do. What you do is you have a huge lobster boil on a summer Friday evening. At least a dozen friends and family, even better with like a couple dozen uncles and aunts and 30 cousins and the neighbours and all. When it's all done, you gather together all the unfinished lobster parts - usually there'll be a handful of whole lobsters, because your Uncle Ron always over-orders with exactly this moment in mind - and you get yourself another Keith's out of the cooler and you dismantle those lobsters at a picnic table covered with newspapers. If it's a more intimate gathering, you'll have a midsized mixing bowl full of lobster meat; at a full-on "gathering of the clans," as we sort of ironically self-aggrandizingly put it in my family, you could have two big punch bowls full. When you're done, it is time to break out the scotch.

Leave that lobster in the fridge overnight and then next morning you haul it out and mix it with mayo, diced celery and onion, salt and pepper and maybe a bit of paprika and a few squeezes of lemon. Get yourself as many bags of Maritime hot dog buns as you need. (These are hot dog buns that resemble folded slices of bread, with crustless sides.) Butter up those crustless outsides and toast 'em until golden brown in a buttered pan, like you were making a grilled cheese. Fill to overflowing with the lobster mix. Check to make sure it's after 11am, then get yourself another beer (Keith's is the default, of course, but I'm a bigger fan of a Propeller ESB, despite Uncle Ron's ribbing about putting on airs) and dig in.

Repeat as necessary.

Unrelated story:

Admittedly, Vegemite's savory and slightly bitter taste is an acquired one

This is some kind of understatement. I'd phrase it thusly: Vegemite's savory and slightly bitter taste is something a human being would consume intentionally only if forcefed it from early teething stage onward, such that it becomes largely a sense memory, a nostalgic trigger strong enough to outweigh the messages being broadcast from every tastebud on your tongue to hurl that foul sandwich across the room and never speak of it again.
posted by gompa at 9:06 AM on November 30, 2010 [16 favorites]

This is obviously not "Best Sandwiches from Around the World" its got to be "Random Sandwiches from Around the World that are Not Italian Beef Sandwiches"
posted by Ad hominem at 9:08 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Banh Mi looks amazing. I mean, I love Vietnamese food, hoagies, and cilantro, it looks like my perfect sandwich. I feel like the fact that I've never had one means that something in my life is fundamentally flawed.
posted by Shesthefastest at 9:09 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

No Italian panini? Feh.
posted by lydhre at 9:13 AM on November 30, 2010

The Pueblan cemita looks tame next to Guadalajara's monstrous torta ahogada, the Mexican torta drowned in spicy red chili sauce.
posted by chrchr at 9:16 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Banh Mi looks amazing. I mean, I love Vietnamese food, hoagies, and cilantro, it looks like my perfect sandwich. I feel like the fact that I've never had one means that something in my life is fundamentally flawed.

Yes. Yes, it does. Hole-in-the-wall banh mi joints are nearly as numerous as chain sub places here in Calgary, and a hundred times the bang for your culinary buck. This is the one that launched the conquest in this city, and the line-up is out that door even when the mercury heads south of -10C every day at lunch. And with good cause.

The Calgary favourite is sate beef or chicken with a couple of slices of cheese, which is highly unconventional. The one I like best is the one that you find for like a quarter on every street corner in Hanoi - the crusty mini-baguette smeared with Vietnamese pate with some grilled sausage or coldcuts layered on top. In either case, it comes topped with some shredded carrots, long thin cuke slices, a couple sprigs of cilantro, a whole fiery finger chili and a splash of some sort of fish-sauce-based dressing. As good a cheap lunch as you'll find anywhere.
posted by gompa at 9:17 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

The list speaks to me of needless over-inclusiveness (a duck bun?) and shock value (vegemite? a chip butty instead of a bacon butty?) which pushes out a few more likely candidates that ought to have been there: the bacon butty (go to a local butcher and get bacon as thick as you can for a better butty) and the Monte Cristo. The Cemitas was an interesting inclusion and reminds me (I have not had one) of a regionalized torta (a mexican street sandwich).
posted by boo_radley at 9:22 AM on November 30, 2010

National Geographic listing the best sandwiches is the same as Vogue trying to explain quantum physics.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 9:23 AM on November 30, 2010

I know we're all Hyperbole and a Half-ed but still, couldn't help but think of this.

Over-the-top awesome reubens for me thanks. Or one of the mile-high obscene pastrami sandwiches from a really good NYC Jewish deli, the kind that can feed a family of four with leftovers. With house mustard of course. (sigh)

Now that I'm no longer in New York I have to settle for pulled pork barbecue sandwiches. Not too bad a trade off as these things go, but still.
posted by ifjuly at 9:29 AM on November 30, 2010

Hey guys, did i get here too late to make a marijuana joke about the dutch nacho whopper?
posted by dubold at 9:30 AM on November 30, 2010

I'm going to cast doubt on the authenticity of that chip butty as a former resident of Yorkshire. The fries (neé 'chips') have a crispness that speaks more to American fast food than British, and almost every Brit I ever met thought I was insane for getting ketchup on fries. I had to limp in with an "it tastes different in the US" to save face. This looks a little more on the money.
posted by el_lupino at 9:31 AM on November 30, 2010

Oh god, lobster rolls. I forgot about those. Now I'm even sad as that's even more of a rarity in this neck of the woods... (sad)

That said, the restaurant a block from my apartment has a lobster knuckle sandwich that is TO DIE FOR. Oh my gosh.
posted by ifjuly at 9:37 AM on November 30, 2010

Aw, no Chilean "Churrasco Italiano" (thin meat, avocado paste, mayonnaise, tomato).
posted by Memo at 9:37 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

In Senegal I often got a sandwich at the corner of the alley by my house. It was baguette, a smear of sauce made with liver an onions, hot peppers, lettuce, a hard boiled egg, french fries, and spaghetti noodles.
posted by Nothing at 9:39 AM on November 30, 2010

Banh mi, oh my yes!

However, the best sandwich experience of my life was discovering the sublime torta ahogada.

My wife and I had been getting our feet eaten, and I was waiting while she did the rest of the spa package. I walked across the highway and happened across a real Mexican hole-in-the-wall place in a strip mall (most of the places around here that bill themselves as Mexican are really Salvadoran. Good food, but not Mexican). I ordered the one thing on the menu I'd never heard of before. The waitress smiled coyly when I ordered it spicy.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:41 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Whopper with Nachos in the Netherlands? How about McDonald's Mexico Flaming Hot Doritos Quarter Pounder with Guacamole.
posted by wcfields at 9:44 AM on November 30, 2010


Heh. They warn you about cilantro on a sandwich drenched in fish sauce. The author must be a supertaster.

This is a great list. Cleveland has a top notch banh mi and pho shop unlike most of the other cities around here, but I have to wait for a visit to Chicago or New York to get my cemitas fix.

My two additions to the list would be the Puerto Rico by way of Chicago plantain-as-bread jibarito and the Chilean chacarero. Granted I've only ever had a chacarero at that place by Fenway Park, but I still think about it regularly.
posted by Hubajube at 9:55 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

The bahn mi is God's most perfect creation.

I'm really excited about the cemita. I've never even heard of it, but now I must have one before I die.
posted by calcetina at 10:00 AM on November 30, 2010

Very hopeful for National Geographic Sandwiches Magazine.
posted by troika at 10:15 AM on November 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

They forgot South Korea's "toast," which is a couple slices of white bread with processed cheese, an egg square, some sweet coleslaw and a weird sweet oil sauce. It's delicious and wrong all at the same time, so long as you're hungover.
posted by klangklangston at 10:16 AM on November 30, 2010

Bacon butties and chip butties are my enemies in the battle not to die of a heart attack at 45.
posted by rodgerd at 10:24 AM on November 30, 2010

There is a banh mi joint in the Eden Center in Falls Church that, I discovered, starts to throw in free sammiches if you order enough in bulk - I think it was a free one for every five I ordered. I found this out the second time I had gone in there to get sammiches THAT EVENING. Yes, I love banh mi.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:24 AM on November 30, 2010

Vincent: It's the little differences. I mean, they got the same shit over there that we got here, but it's just – it's just there it's a little different.
Jules: Example?
Vincent: All right. Well, you can walk into a movie theater in Amsterdam and buy a beer. And I don't mean just like in no paper cup, I'm talking about a glass of beer. And in Paris, you can buy a beer at McDonald's. And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
Jules: They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?
Vincent: Nah, man, they got the metric system, they wouldn't know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is.
Jules: What do they call it?
Vincent: They call it a "Royale with Cheese".
Jules: "Royale with Cheese".
Vincent: That's right.
Jules: What do they call a Big Mac?
Vincent: A Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it "Le Big Mac".
Jules: [in mock French accent] "Le Big Mac." [laughs] What do they call a Whopper?
Vincent: I don't know, I didn't go in a Burger King.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:26 AM on November 30, 2010

I am intrigued by the Swedish smorgastarta. Am I gonna have to haul my ass to Sweden to try this?

As for Puerto Rican sandwiches, I second the jibarito, and raise you a tripleta : beef, pork, chicken, sauce, and shoestring potatoes. Fancy it ain't, and not for the faint of stomach, but sooo good.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 10:28 AM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Any sandwich list that doesn't contain the Twinkie Weenie Sandwich is highly suspect.
posted by davelog at 10:33 AM on November 30, 2010

DrGirlfriend, I propose that we collect all of the condiments in our fridges, travel to the nearest fancy deli and get the smallest amount of every available meat and cheese, and compose our own smorgastartas.
posted by Mizu at 10:33 AM on November 30, 2010

That's a lot of hooker and pot jokes for an NPR piece.
posted by GuyZero at 10:37 AM on November 30, 2010

As much as I love rotary roasted sliced mystery meat sandwiches, the Turkish Shwarma pictured is just a generic mistake. Turks eat 'doner kebab' - usually sliced into a in a french baguette, or served in flat bread called durum. Shwarma is the Arabic version (with all the very un-Turkish white yogurt sauce.) The Greeks adopted it as "Gyros" which means the same as 'doner' "Turning" (as in a spit.) If anybody does a good sandwich it is the Turks... I nomimate the Adana Durum for best Turkish sammie.
posted by zaelic at 10:53 AM on November 30, 2010

I'm not sure how "proper" these terms are with respect to their origins, but in Montreal a Shwarma is a pita with beef, lettuce/cabbage, pickled turnips, with option of hot sauce and/or mayo-based "garlic sauce". The chicken version (my preference) they call the Shish-Taouk.

Though, in my memory at least, there isn't much that can beat my invention of The Everything Sandwich.
posted by mbatch at 11:03 AM on November 30, 2010

So I was in a farm town in the western end of Guatemala last summer, and the food options there weren't really the most varied. Freshest corn tortillas you've ever eaten, but you can only really enjoy so many corn tortillas. So I was excited to discover a guy with a truck in the middle of town selling "Tortas Mexicanas," because tortas are the shit, right? — and I figured, hey, we're a day's drive from Chiapas, these could totally be the real thing.

What he made turned out to be a highly authentic delicacy from a whole nother part of the world: a fried baloney sandwich (extra mayo) that woulda been right at home in western Pennsylvania.

If you paid extra he would put a chopped up hot dog on it too.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:10 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

No Italy? Here un panino di porchetta.
posted by francesca too at 11:18 AM on November 30, 2010

I had some bun kababs when I was in Karachi back in 2006. Excellent stuff. But you know what's even better? kabab rolls from Silver Spoon! Just thinking of tasty kababs wrapped in a deep fried parathas makes my mouth water.
posted by reenum at 11:35 AM on November 30, 2010

mr supermedusa invented a new sammich this weekend, which i will share with my sammich-cult brethren:

warm turkey breast meat with melted havarti cheese on your bread of choice (we used a very nice pre-sliced multigrain sourdough thing) saute some sweet onions, add shredded cabbage to wilt, sliced roasted red bell pepper, jalapenos, some herbs (!!) toss in a dijon vinagrette and top the turkey with the slaw. oh and dont forget some avocado!

its soooooo good :)
It doesnt have a name yet
posted by supermedusa at 11:55 AM on November 30, 2010

also I must agree the exclusion of a porchetta sandwich is positively criminal.
posted by supermedusa at 11:56 AM on November 30, 2010

The world's most unhealthy sandwich.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:56 AM on November 30, 2010

gompa: Your Nova Scotia lobster roll also describes the traditional Maine lobster roll. But since Maine has more in comon with N.S. than it does with the rest of America, we should just call it the International Maritimes Lobster Roll and pass the napkins.

I like mine with a leaf of crispy fresh lettuce underneath the lobster, too. The crunch completes the whole thing, and the lettuce itself helps keep the bun from getting soggy.
posted by rusty at 1:00 PM on November 30, 2010

My limited understanding is that doner/gyros/donair are made of a kind of reconstituted meatloaf, usually ground lamb and/or beef, with breadcrumbs and spices, formed into a log and roasted on a spit, whereas shawarma/kebab are made of actual sliced meat, with the grain intact, not ground, not processed, but simply marinated and piled on a spit.
posted by inedible at 1:20 PM on November 30, 2010

Aw no Kati Roll / Frankie from India? You can apparently get them in NYC now. Deliciousness!
posted by peacheater at 2:04 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

IndigoJones: The world's most unhealthy sandwich.

My Asbestos Burger would beg to differ.
posted by inedible at 2:24 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'll forgive the omission of arguably the best sandwich in the world, Grilled Halloumi Lountza, as it's fairly obscure, but no Leberkässemmel? No Shooter's Sandwich?
posted by Quantum's Deadly Fist at 4:04 PM on November 30, 2010

I made that Shooter's Sandwich and it was the shit let me tell you .

Also seconding the churasco.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 6:09 PM on November 30, 2010

I think you people are underestimating the Fluffernutter.
posted by maryr at 8:33 PM on November 30, 2010

PB&J is not so common outside the US. I once made one in the Netherlands and people freaked out. "You are mixing those two things on bread??!!"
posted by eye of newt at 11:45 PM on November 30, 2010

The Banh Mi looks amazing. I mean, I love Vietnamese food, hoagies, and cilantro, it looks like my perfect sandwich. I feel like the fact that I've never had one means that something in my life is fundamentally flawed.

I am so so so jealous of a banh mi virgin. You are about to have one of life's most sublime experiences. Make sure your first is an authentic one.

After the banh mi, my personal favorite is a grilled pizzette bianca with ham and cheese in a Roman cafe with a glass of prosecco as the sunset swallows reel overhead.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:13 AM on December 1, 2010

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