While the average American eats almost 200 sandwiches a year -- more if you count pita with peanut butter and leftover pad thai as a sandwich -- eating bread filled with stuff is as universal as loving David Hasselhoff (eating sandwiches on the floor). When it comes to global gastronomy, the sandwich reigns supreme. Which is why we put together this handy guide to the world's best/most representative national sandwiches.
1 Katsu-sando, Japan
Invented in Tokyo in 1899 at a restaurant called Rengatei, the sandwich was originally considered a type of yoshoku -- a Western dish with local influences. Breaded pork on white bread, Asianified with cabbage. Much like Japanese culture, it convinces with its minimalism.
2 Vegemite Sandwich, Australia
Vegemite is one of the richest known sources of vitamin B. And, not surprisingly, only one jar is sold internationally for every 30 jars sold in Australia. Why is the dude in Men At Work's "Down Under" smiling when he "gives you a bite of his Vegemite sandwich"? Probably because he's giving you toast smeared with brown paste made from leftover yeast extract, a by-product of beer-making. Which some Aussies eat with cheese for breakfast. No wonder so many Aussies leave home to travel the world.
3 Döner Kebab, Turkey
Döner Kebab (which literally means turning meat) was reportedly invented in Berlin in 1971 by a Turkish immigrant, Mahmut Aygünin (aka. "kebab king"). As you've probably annihilated one of these from a street cart late night, you know that Döner is meat (beef, chicken, lamb, or veal) cooked on a vertical spit, enveloped in a pita hug, and supplemented with onions, pickled cucumber, lettuce, and tomatoes.
4 PB and J, USA
The average American kid devours 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches by the time s/ he graduates from high school. The average European still consumes less than one tablespoon of US peanut butter a year.
5 Donkey Burger, China
To make this dish sound even less appealing, it's usually served cold. In the Hebei province, where the donkey burger's a local specialty, there's a well-known saying: "In Heaven there is dragon meat, on Earth there is donkey meat". Naturally... Exactly what you think is in it, burro on a bun.
6 Montreal-style smoked meat sandwich, Canada
Montreal smoked meat is always sliced by hand and lots of bits fall off in the process; they're usually served in a smoked meat poutine, over spaghetti or even on pizza. Montreal-style smoked meat sandwiches can be ordered by the amount of fat in the meat, with five options ranging from lean, old-fashioned, and "speck", which is basically only fat and no meat. Kosher deli meat made by salting and curing beef brisket in spices, and letting it sit/ absorb for over a week, this Montreal speciality is stacked high on rye and topped with mustard.
7 Vada Pav, India
While the Vada Pav started as food for the poor (it's cheap to make), it quickly caught on nationwide and is now one of India's favorite fast food dishes, yet is also served in the fanciest of hotels. Sometimes spelled Wada Pav or Vada Paav, India's favorite handheld is a spicy veggie hamburger that consists of a batata vada potato fritter sandwiched between two slices of pav bread. It usually comes topped with a chutney made from shredded coconut, tamarind pulp, and garlic.
8 Gatsby, South Africa
Gatsbies were said to have been birthed in 1976 in Cape Town by an industrious fish and chips shop owner, Rashaad Pandy, who -- upon running out of fish -- had to find a way to feed a boatload of hungry day laborers. Gatsby always includes a layer of fries. Made on a massive roll, it's designed to feed a family of four, which explains why it's sold in full, half, or quarter sizes.Also read : World's largest Dish on a Menu is —A Whole Stuffed Camel
9 Bocadillo, Spain
There are two types of sandwiches in Spain: a “sandwich” is made with white bread and is pronounced in the way bad newscasters say Kneee-car-aaaahh-gwwaaah -- with a Spanish accent -- while a traditional Bocadillo uses a rustic barra de pan bread. This favorite Spanish tapas consists of a Tortilla Española -- basically an omelette with potatoes and onion -- souped up with meat (anything from dry-cured ham, chorizo, chicken, pork, or tuna) and seasoned with sauces like mayo, aioli, or tomato sauce.
10 Smørrebrød, Denmark
Originally known as Smør og Brød, or "butter and bread", these babies usually comprise a piece of buttered rye bread topped with, well, something. The caveat? A visual people, the Danes try to make these open-faced sammies aesthetically pleasing, even when eating alone.
11 Roti John, Malaysia
A beloved breakfast/ snack in Malaysia, as well as Brunei and Singapore, the Roti John is essentially an omelette sandwich on a baguette-like bread, but can be dressed up with other ingredients, including minced meat (chicken or lamb), onion, and sardines with a tomato-chili sauce.Also read : 7 Most Spicy Dishes From Around The World
12 Broodje Kroket, The Netherlands
A croquette is a small breadcrumbed fried roll usually made of mashed potatoes, but often mixed with ground meat, shellfish, fish, cheese, or vegetables. The Dutch are obsessed with them and the Broodje Kroket, a croquette on a bread roll, is sold all over the country.
13 Cemita, Mexico
Delicious egg-based, brioche-like bread is usually topped with layers of sliced avocado, meat (most likely deep-fried beef), white cheese, onions, herbs, and salsa roja.