H/T Fodors.com — Sometimes, there’s just no replacement for good old bread. These amazing sandwiches from around the world are case and point.
A regional Mexican specialty, the torta ahogada—which literally translates to ‘drowned sandwich’—is the spicy hangover cure of choice for those in Mexico’s second city, Guadalajara. The key ingredient is arguably the birote salado, a slightly salted baguette-esque crusty roll whose solid exterior refuses to crumble beneath the weight of its fried carnita (pork) filling and liberally-applied cold, spicy tomato sauce. Top with sliced onion and radish and accept the fact that eating the torta ahogada is a messy affair.
Invented in a Uruguayan bar, the chivito (little goat) is now the country’s national dish and, according to Uruguayans, their most famous culinary export. However, while the name implies that goat meat makes some kind of appearance in this fairly typical sandwich set-up, the proteins of choice are actually beef, bacon, and ham, complemented by mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and hard-boiled eggs. Mayonnaise and a side of fries are a must.
The bacon sandwich is a thing of simple majesty, and all meat-eating Brits abroad will, at one point or another, find themselves pining for a decent one. While squishy white bread and high-quality, fatless back bacon are the only two ingredients needed to make a great bacon sandwich, you can’t go wrong with a dollop of red (or brown, I don’t judge) sauce, too. Butter should never make an appearance.
The bánhmì has become many self-proclaimed foodies’ sandwich of choice. In Vietnam where it originated, this light snack is served as an accompaniment to some kind of liquid dish, whereas Western iterations are served as a stand-alone lunch. While the airy baguette gives away the French-influence, the fillings remain traditionally dominated by Vietnamese ingredients like daikon and cilantro, plus a smorgasbord of meat choices.
WHERE: South Africa
Cape Town’s signature sandwich was doing foot longs way before Subway, and doing them far better. While the name Gatsby evokes old world elegance and perhaps an enigmatic backstory, the South African version is anything but sleek. How can it be when a wodge of vinegar-doused ‘slap’ chips constitute the main component? Add your choice of meat, spicy sauce, and fried onions, and don’t forget to share this carb-y behemoth with your nearest and dearest.
8.Bocadillo de Tortilla
Think of traditional Spanish foods, and you probably think of paella. Or perhaps you’re a person with far more refined taste, and the traditional potato omelette (a.k.a. a tortilla de patata) comes to mind. Literally just that, a chunky hunk of potato and egg deliciousness, arguably the only way to improve upon a well-cooked Spanish tortilla is by stuffing it in a bread roll. A distant cousin to the Mexican guajalota (a tamal in a teacake), bocadillos de tortilla will almost certainly become your next sandwich obsession.
France’s ‘Crunchy Mister’, or Croque Monsieur to give it its Sunday best name, was the Parisian snack of choice back in the day, and continues to enjoy popularity as a café staple. Made from France’s second most famed bread, brioche, filled with ham and then coated in a slightly seasoned layer of cheese (sometimes with the added extra of béchamel sauce), the Croque Monsieur becomes a Madame with the addition of a runny fried egg.
Thinly sliced meat (pork or beef, take your pick), is stacked miles-high with equally skinny slices of green chili pepper, tomato, and green beans, bringing a touch of healthiness to the teetering arrangement. Named for those who tend to chacras, the Quechua term for ranch or farm, loosely translated, the chacarero has long since left the countryside and taken over the length and breadth of Chile.