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Grilled Cheese (United States)
When you think of the U.S.A., there are probably a lot of delicious sandwiches that come to mind. However, it's the grilled cheese sandwich that is one of those tasty, comforting creations that downright symbolizes Americana.
Traditionally, this sandwich is made by layering sliced cheese between two slices of white bread, smearing the outside with butter, and grilling the entire sandwich until the bread is crisp and golden brown, and the cheese is melted and gooey.
But that's not it for this amazing sandwich. From the vibrant and wacky rainbow grilled cheese sandwiches to the plain and simple tomato and cheddar combination, there is an abundance of variations when it comes to grilled cheese.
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Smørrebrød simply translates to "buttered bread", but that's not all there is to this tasty and texturally-pleasing Scandinavian sandwich.
The base is typically made using a super dense, thickly sliced rye bread, which is slathered with butter, sour cream, or some sort of horseradish schmear and is then topped with a variety of fillings and served open-faced. The traditional toppings typically include pickled or smoked fish, liver pate, sliced cold cuts, and boiled eggs.
The Smørrebrød pictured is loaded with potato salad, fresh herbs, sharp red onions, and crispy fried shallots on a dense and seeded rye toast. The textures and flavor combinations make this sandwich truly remarkable and a must-try for sandwich enthusiasts across the world.
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Egypt's national sandwich is definitely one of the most flavorful and colorful dishes on the list.
To start, chickpeas are ground up with finely chopped onions, fresh herbs, and middle eastern spices. They are then shaped into 1.5 inch balls and deep-fried to golden perfection. The fried falafel balls are then stuffed into a warm pita and served with a variety of fillings, which range from the traditional shepherd's salad (cucumber, tomato, and green peppers) to unusual brightly colored pickles like hot pink turnips, green cucumbers, and deep red beets.
Additionally, you're likely to see the falafel sandwich is also smeared with a delicious spread like hummus, baba ganoush, white sauce (either yogurt or tahini-based), or spicy harissa pepper sauce.
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Although there are many sandwiches associated with Italian food, like their infamous porchetta sandwiches, or grilled panini, the tramezzini are the iconic Italian finger sandwiches that are perfect for snacking. Similar to English tea sandwiches, these flavorful triangular sandwiches are made with crustless soft white bread and homemade mayonnaise. They're typically served and sold between breakfast and lunch at many restaurants and bars in Venice, Italy.
To make these petite Venetian snacks, it's crucial to start with some really good homemade mayonnaise and soft, crustless white bread. After that, the options for fillings become endless!Continue to 5 of 13 below.
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Croque Monsieur (France)
It's no surprise that France comes into this sandwich collection with the richest and most decadent sandwich of them all.
Croque Monsieur has sliced ham, dijon mustard, and Gruyere cheese (or sometimes Swiss) between two slices of thick, buttered bread. The whole thing is fried, like a grilled cheese, and then finished with a rich and creamy béchamel sauce that is poured over the top. The whole thing goes under the broiler until the top gets crispy and becomes totally irresistible. You can even add an egg on top, which will change the name to Croque Madame.
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If you're a sandwich enthusiast, you've probably come across Mexico's famous sandwich, the cemita. Although there is not much of a difference between a cemita and a torta, other than the city of origin, both of these sandwiches are Mexico's contribution to the list.
The hearty cemita sandwich comes from the Puebla region of Mexico. Typically stuffed with a variety of fried meats, avocado, queso, chipotles, and red sauce, this sandwich is super versatile, while also being extremely delicious no matter the combination.
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Cucumber Tea Sandwich (England)
There are a ton of unique sandwich combinations that put the Brit's sammies on the map. A traditional staple of the United Kingdom is the English Tea sandwich, the classic cucumber, cream cheese, and white bread tea sandwich.
If you feel more adventurous, try the delicious, yet slightly over-the-top, chip butty made with french fries, ketchup or brown sauce, and white bread. There's also the deconstructed sandwich, known as the Ploughman's Lunch, which features butter, hams, Branston pickles, cheese, and tomato.
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While in Greece, you're likely to find plenty of street vendors shaving meat off of vertical rotisseries and stuffing it into fresh pitas filled with tzatziki, french fries, and fresh vegetables. Although in the United States we typically associate gyros with shaved lamb stuffed pitas, that's not so common in its country of origin. Over there, it's more common to see chicken and pork than any other sort of meat. But, regardless of the filling, a gyro is always a perfect sandwich.Continue to 9 of 13 below.
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Choripan is an Argentinian sandwich made with–you guessed it–grilled chorizo ("chori") and crusty bread (pan)!
The bulk of this sandwich is traditionally made with a combination of beef and pork ground together in a sausage-like form, then split down the middle and griddled until crispy. After that, it's piled onto some crusty bread and slathered with a vibrant chimichurri sauce and fresh salsa. You might also see it served with crispy fried shoestring potatoes, which add a nice crunch to this handheld delight.
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Arepa is definitely one of the most popular foods in Venezuela and is eaten on a daily basis. Although the corn dough is shaped and grilled at the desired time of consumption, ready-to-grill arepas are also available at grocery stores.
Venezuelan arepas are thick, and the stuffing goes inside once the arepa is grilled, with the outside crunchy. Sliced steak, grilled chicken, pulled pork, beans, rice, avocado, cheese, and ham are some of the options you can choose and combine to make your own.
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Steamed Buns (China)
Thanks to Chef David Chang of Momofuku, steamed buns are popping up on menus all across the United States. From barbecued pork belly with pickles to deep-fried tofu with crushed peanuts, the new fillings are both exciting and experimental.
Traditionally, steamed buns (aka gua bao) are a Taiwanese mouth-shaped handheld delicacy composed of a light and fluffy steamed bun filled with meats, pickles, fresh herbs, crushed peanuts, and hot sauce.
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Almost identical to the Cuban sandwich we find here in the United States, the Medianoche (midnight) still consists of the same great flavors of roasted pork, swiss cheese, tangy mustard, and zesty dill pickles but is built on different bread. Instead of Cuban bread, which is almost like a french baguette, the Medianoche is served on a pressed sweet yolky bread similar to challah.
Be sure to swap out Cuban bread for the sweet Medianoche bread, which can be found at most Latin American grocery stores.Continue to 13 of 13 below.
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Bánh Mì (Vietnam)
The Bánh Mì is definitely one of the most flavorful, unusual, and complex sandwiches on our list. This Vietnamese sandwich is traditionally made using a Vietnamese baguette, which is pretty similar to a French baguette, but incorporates rice flour along with the wheat flour and has a thinner crust and is airier inside.
Stuffed inside the baguette is usually some sort of grilled meat, such as pork belly or the like, pâté, pickled carrots and daikon, jalapeños, cucumbers, french mayonnaise, Sriracha, fresh cilantro, and fresh mint.