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Beyond PB&J: 15 Sandwiches From Around the World

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Happy Sandwich Day! Named after John Montagu, the fourth earl of Sandwich, who in 1762 spent 24 hours at a gaming table without any other food, the sandwich has become a culinary staple for just about everyone on Earth. Former Traveler researcher and sandwich fancier Christine Wei has compiled this list of 15 global favorites.

1.  Japanese yakisoba sandwich
Craving carbs? Filled with yakisoba, thin noodles fried with Worcestershire-like sauce, the Japanese version of the spaghetti sandwich does double duty in the starch department. Be sure you’re hungry before giving this one a shot.

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2.  Swedish smorgastarta
A giant cake sandwich? You’d better believe it. Thus named because of its generous amounts of buttery layers and creamy fillings, the smorgastarta is often loaded with pate, smoked salmon, caviar, and cold cuts. It’s presented beautifully too.

Still hungry? Read about 13 additional sandwiches from around the world after the jump.

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3.  Finnish porilainen
For those who have always been torn between hot dogs and burgers, the porilainen porilainen porilainen

gives you the best of both worlds. Like a burger, it has onions and ketchup sandwiched between two pieces of bread, but with a thick slice of sausage as the filling.

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4.  English chip butty
Why bother with a side of fries when you can enjoy those crispy, golden strips right in your sandwich? The chip butty isn’t much else besides fries and bread with a few condiments–so it’s naturally rumored to cure the most atrocious of hangovers. To take it up a notch, try the bacon butty. Photo: PhotoBank.com

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5. Vietnamese banh mi
A baguette stuffed to the brim with meat and pickled veggies, the banh mi is fusion food at its best. But be warned: it’s usually sprinkled with cilantro, so don’t be surprised by an herby kick when you take a bite.

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6.  Pueblan cemita
This Mexican street food might look like any other burger at first glance, but don’t be fooled: the crusty, fluffy sesame roll packs a surprisingly flavorful punch. Hearty fried beef is sweetened by slices of avocado and marinated onion, then spiced up with cheese and papalo (which is like a citrus-y cilantro). Photo: Matt Armendariz

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7.  Taiwanese breakfast sandwich
Love ham-and-egg pairings?  This triple-layered breakfast sandwich from Taiwan is just for you. Filled with ham or five-spice pork patties and shredded cucumber with mayo, this savory-sweet medley is a local early-morning favorite.

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8.  Portuguese francesinha
The cheesy tomato and beer sauce-drenched sandwich speaks for itself.  FYI, it’s usually made with ham, sausage, steak, or some sort of roasted meat.

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9.  French croque monsieur
For the sophisticated eater, manwiches and carb-on-carb concoctions can give way to the daintier croque monsieur, essentially a grilled cheese with a bit of European flair.  Add some egg to the winning ham-and-cheese combination and you’ve got yourself a croque madame.

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10.  Maine lobster roll
Though it’s not as exotic as some others on this list, the Maine lobster roll is simply too delicious to leave out.  Generally overstuffed and underpriced, the buttery bun and sweet shredded meat is a winner whenever lobster is in season.

11. Turkish shawarma

Kind of like a gyro, the shawarma is a meat-lover’s must-have. Its thin slices of tender roasted meat, usually in pita or flatbread, taste all the juicier with toppings like creamy hummus or tahini sesame paste.

12. Spanish bocadillo de tortilla de patata
If you’re a fan of breakfast food, you’ll love the bocadillo de tortilla de patata. Popular in a variety of establishments as well as on the streets of Spain, this sandwich is like a hash brown omelet in baguette-style bread.

13. Chinese Peking duck buns
Peking duck was once an imperial dish but is now enjoyed by many. the crispy skin and fatty, tender meat dipped in sweet hoisin sauce, all housed in a fluffy, steamed bun, make for indulgently juicy bites.

14. Pakistani bun kabob
Who says you need meat for a tasty sandwich?  The bun kabob is reminiscent of a falafel, but usually served in a hamburger bun.  With onions, chutney, lentils, and cumin seeds mixed right into the patty, the sandwich is as flavorful as it gets.

15. Australian Vegemite sandwich
No, this isn’t made from termites like a friend once tried to trick me into believing… not that yeast extract sounds much more appealing. Admittedly, Vegemite‘s savory and slightly bitter taste is an acquired one, butI had the chance to try some in third grade and liked it.  With buttered toast, it reminds me of a seaweed paste.


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