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HomeIndiaAamchi Mumbai’s vada pav is 13 on TasteAtlas' list of top 50...

Aamchi Mumbai’s vada pav is 13 on TasteAtlas’ list of top 50 best rated sandwiches in the world

An affordable snack for the working class, vada pav is said to have originated in central Bombay at the hands of Ashok Vaidya, who ran a food kiosk at Dadar train station.

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New Delhi: Vada pav, the Indian street food native to Maharashtra, has been ranked number 13 on a list of the top 50 best rated sandwiches in the world. The list was published by TasteAtlas, a Croatian-based experiential travel guide that collects and categorises food and recipes from all over.

Besides Vada Pav, a clear favourite, others in the list include the Turkish Tombik — a döner kebab variant where shredded meat is stuffed in a bun-shaped flatbread called pide ekmek — and the iconic Vietnamese Banh mi, a baguette with a French-infused Vietnamese filling which is representative of France’s cultural legacy in the Southeast Asian nation.

India finds mention at number 13 with Vada Pav, which has a soft pav sliced almost in half, separated by batata vada (a spiced-up fried potato patty). This is  the only Indian sandwich on the TasteAtlas list.

Vada pav is said to have originated in central Mumbai (then Bombay), created by Ashok Vaidya who ran a food kiosk at the bustling Dadar train station. It was a snack that needed  utility. It needed to be packaged simply, distributed easily and eaten quickly, given that it was meant for the working class. Affordability was also a key factor in its conceptualisation.

“He [Vaidya] thought of a way to satiate the hungry workers, and concluded that the ideal dish should be portable, affordable, and easy to prepare. Ashok made vada pav, and its popularity skyrocketed, especially after the Shiv Sena, a Marathi-Hindu nationalist political party, started to promote the sandwich as an ideal working class snack,” says the TasteAtlas website.

The TasteAtlas list is a testament to how what is understood to be a simple, no-fuss snack can carry the weight of different cultures and be adapted to suit different palates.

For instance, Many of the 15 American sandwiches on the list are those found in abundance on the streets of big cities like New York and Chicago. Pastrami, a smoked meat made from beef brisket on rye bread, is a symbol of New York’s Delis, and also of the city’s thriving Jewish community.

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