Matt Preston:

Bread en­cases fill­ing – this sim­ple con­cept has spawned myr­iad it­er­a­tions of saucy sangers and good-time rolls. Matt Preston ranks the world’s best.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS - @mattscra­vat @MattsCra­vat MATT PRESTON

Ranks the world’s best sangers

WHEN THE dis­so­lute Earl of Sand­wich or­dered a card-ta­ble snack of salt beef be­tween two slices of bread – or so the story goes – lit­tle could he have known what he was start­ing, but the con­cept has spread around the world and takes many forms.

So what are the world’s great­est it­er­a­tions of this con­ve­nient combo of bread and fill­ing? Here is our top-10 pick of sand­wiches and close cousin the roll, and where they most feel at home.

The small print: I reckon it’s al­most crim­i­nal that we had to leave out the clas­sic steak sand­wich, Madrid’s crumbed cala­mari roll, the Aussie yeast-ex­tract sanger (too con­tro­ver­sial to pick which brand; I don’t want to start a riot), and the French jam­bon­beurre (sim­plic­ity man­i­fest with thick slabs of but­ter and gen­er­ous tranches of ham in a crusty baguette). As for the omis­sion of the club sand­wich, it might be a room-ser­vice sta­ple but for me it’s just a sand­wich that can’t make up its mind what it wants to be. A BLT,a BLAT or TBAM (a turkey, ba­con, av­o­cado and mayo) would be good choices. I made that last one up all by my­self.

10 FISH SAND­WICH, IS­TAN­BUL

There’s ro­mance in buy­ing this sym­phony of grilled fish and spiced onions (the balık ek­mek) from the back deck of a fish­ing boat moored by the Galata Bridge. Es­pe­cially when the wa­ters of the Golden Horn are glis­ten­ing at sun­set. Lo­cals tell you, how­ever, you’ll get bet­ter fish (that might even be lo­cal hamsi an­chovies and not im­ported mack­erel) in the sand­wiches found around the point at Kumkapi, Sa­matya or from the bet­ter carts over by the Karakoy ferry if the po­lice haven’t moved them on yet.

9 CHILLI DOG, NEW YORK CITY

Surely the hum­ble ball­park hot dog only re­alises its full po­ten­tial when loaded with chilli con carne and cheese for a dou­ble smack of flavour that would glad­den the heart of any meat lover.

8 CHORIPAN, BUENOS AIRES

The meaty, spicy tang of a great grilled Ar­gen­tine chorizo sausage is the per­fect thing to lay, split and grilled, in a crusty roll, es­pe­cially if it’s slathered with herby chimichurri and ac­com­pa­nied by a spir­ited con­ver­sa­tion about whether River or Boca will win this year’s Primera.

7 PB&J, THE MID­WEST­ERN US

Not many sand­wiches have a film made about them or been the sub­ject of a song that made the charts (Galan­tis’s 2015 hit). Few eats are so an­chored in a peo­ple’s psy­che, in this case mid­dle Amer­ica (eclips­ing even ap­ple pie).A 2002 sur­vey found the av­er­age kid in the US will have eaten 1200 peanut but­ter and jelly sand­wiches by the time they leave high school. For the record, there’s only one way to make a PB&J: spread the peanut but­ter on one slice of bread, spread the jelly on the other and sand­wich to­gether. No but­ter re­quired. Of­fi­cial.

6 CROQUE-MON­SIEUR, PARIS

Trust the French to take a cheese toastie and make it fancy by adding a grilled layer of cheese béchamel sauce. Dou­ble cheese! Dou­ble ge­nius.And the fat from the oozy melty cen­tre still makes the pa­per bag go translu­cent.

5 SUM­MER SAND­WICH, WIM­BLE­DON

Wim­ble­don is the only sport­ing event more in­trin­si­cally linked to teatime than cricket.And you can’t have an English sum­mer tea with­out crust­less cu­cum­ber sand­wiches made with cold but­ter and lots of pep­per. I’d add col­laps­ing sand­wiches of ripe tomato sloppy with salad cream, and lit­tle egg may­on­naise and cress bridge rolls, or pin­wheels filled with as­para­gus spears or smoked salmon and cream cheese. The use of soft white bread is, as the English would say, de rigueur.

4 LOB­STER ROLL, NEW ENG­LAND

Soft, sweet grilled hot dog rolls hold­ing chunks of lob­ster tossed with lemon mayo and a lot o’ black pep­per – di­vine. Sure, it’s not a bucket of prawns, a cold beer and an Aussie sun­set but it’ll do when we are trav­el­ling.

3 BANH MI, HO CHI MINH CITY

The French in­tro­duced the baguette, pâté and may­on­aisse to Viet­nam in the late 19th cen­tury, but banh mi as we know them didn’t ap­pear un­til refugees who had fled south from Hanoi af­ter Viet­nam’s par­ti­tion in 1954 opened sand­wich stands in then-Saigon to make a liv­ing, sell­ing a flam­boy­ant ver­sion of the Hanoi baguette that in­cluded pick­les, herbs and grilled meats. Sea­son­ing it with a few splashes of Maggi was a nos­tal­gic Hanoi tra­di­tion.

2 YOUR LO­CAL TOASTIE

The cheese, ham and tomato toastie – the per­fect sanger where crunchy, juicy and creamy, salty and savoury all have equal billing.

1 KATSU SANDO, TOKYO

Fried breaded pork, sliced cab­bage, tonkatsu sauce and mayo in springy white bread, this sand­wich is re­as­sur­ingly close to an Aussie schnitzel sand­wich. It has in­spired some of Aus­tralia’s best chefs to rein­ter­pret it with ev­ery­thing from crumbed abalone to chicken skin. What have we missed out? Let Matt know on Twit­ter or In­sta with the hash­tag #No1Sand­wich.

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