Banh mi is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich that was invented during the French colonial period. It is a light baguette filled with pork, liver pate, chilies and coriander with ribbons of cucumber and pickled carrots. A vegetarian version can be made by replacing the meat and pate with tofu. Spicy, crunchy and flavoursome, the banh mi is likely to lighten up your lunch hour.
These little deep fried nuggets of chickpeas are healthy and tasty for a Lebanese style lunch. Stuff a pita bread with falafel and salad (lettuce, cucumber, tomato) and pour over tahini, a sesame paste. Falafel was probably the first street food, as far back as the 8th century.
Go all the way to Trinidad and Tobago at lunchtime with this tasty treat. The double is made up of 2 fried flatbreads or ’bara’ filled with curried chick peas. For a little extra zing, you can add mango, cucumber, coconut and tamarind. The double was invented by the Deen family in 1936, who still pride themselves on selling the original today.
This Japanese minimalist sandwich is simple and succulent with a filling of fried pork cutlet, shredded cabbage and tonkatsu (a sauce similar to Worcestershire sauce) on white sliced bread. It is thought to have been invented in Tokyo in 1899 and is considered to be a Japanese take on European cuisine.
Head to the south of France with this classic Pan Bagnat. It is made with sourdough bread called ’pan de campagne’. Brush inside the bread with olive oil and garlic and fill with salad leaves, tomatoes, egg, tuna, anchovies , olives and green beans. A salad ’Nicoise’ in a sandwich, if you will.
Take a trip to Uruguay and sample the chivito, roughly translated as ’little goat’. This may refer to the size of this humble sandwich and its many fillings - fillet mignon, mozzarella, tomatoes, mayonnaise, olives, egg and ham.
Try something completely new with this taste of the Netherlands - it was invented in 1691 by the chef of King Louis XIV. It consists of a white bun filled with a beef ragout croquette and mustard. Apparently, the average Dutch person eats 29 of these each year!
If you are having a bad day or are super hungry, a Gatsby may be in order. It is a long bread roll stuffed with steak or chicken as you like and most importantly french fries! This South African specialty started in the Western Cape with locals buying large rolls and filling them with whatever leftovers they had and then this was split into four pieces. A monster of a sandwich!
A favourite snack from the Middle East and perfect for a nice and spicy lunch treat. Chicken or beef (usually spit roasted) is stuffed into a flat bread with tomatoes and cucumber, garnished with pickled vegetables and drizzled with garlic sauce and hot sauce.
For a taste of India try the classic Vada Pav which originated in Mumbai. It is a potato fritter fried coated in chickpea flour and spices and put inside a fluffy white bun. A chutney of tamarind, garlic and coconut can be added for extra flavour and texture. Spice up your life!
Do you eat your lunch at your desk and pack the same thing every day? Has lunch become a meaningless exercise in preference to working? Take some time out to be inspired by sandwiches around the world and see where it takes you...
The sandwich is classed as bread with fillings and is a popular workplace packed lunch. It is named after John Montagu the 4th Earl of Sandwich who got hungry whilst gambling and asked his chef to prepare something ’portable’ for him to eat, thus the sandwich was invented.
Be brave and pack something new or if you really don’t have time, order something in, be different. Revive your lunch and eat around the world in 10 sandwiches, taking a taste of travel with you!