Americans call out ‘weird’ British sandwich fillings – but they like Wigan’s pie barm

The infamous Wigan kebab got the thumbs up from Yanks who otherwise mocked our jam, sugar and leftover roast dinner sandwiches

Georgina Pellant Georgina Pellant - 5th October 2021

If it fits, it sits. No, we’re not talking about LOLcat – rather, we’re examining the British penchant for ‘unique’ sandwich filling choices after they’ve come under attack by our American counterparts.

Americans mocking British food is not a new thing, it’s even woven into our popular culture. Sometimes our dishes confuse them (for example, the fact that Bury black pudding isn’t an actual pudding), whilst others simply disgust them.

Last December one user on Twitter went viral after mocking the iconic chip butty – causing a huge pile on as people rushed to either agree with Jack or to valiantly fight the chip butty’s corner.

Inevitably, this led to a bit of an online culture war as Brits were quick to sling back some criticism the other way: criticising ‘spray on’ cheese and Thanksgiving in a can whilst defending some true English staples.

One thing everyone seemed to agree on though, surprisingly, was the Wigan kebab. Chiming in on the debate, US publishers BuzzFeed had this to say:


“Putting a pie in a bread roll is a brilliant idea.”

Curioser and curioser. The whole debate got us thinking, though, perhaps the Yanks do have a point. Perhaps some of our sandwich fillings are a bit weird.


Not the chip butty, obviously, but some of them could be considered a bit questionable – even by British standards. So, for a bit of fun, we decided to list the best ones we could think of here.

Know of any others? Let us know over on Twitter @themancUK.

Saucy sandwiches

Tomato ketchup, or brown sauce? It has to be ketchup, surely. We also know some people who forgo the top slice and simply have a bit of ketchup on toast for breakfast.

Image: Reddit

Pot noodle sandwiches

Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw is reportedly a fan of this one, even marking his return to the drive time slot with a bespoke pot noodle sandwich cake back in 2018.

Image: Youtube

Sugar sandwiches

A true nostalgic childhood treat, featuring all the best bits and nothing less (or at least that’s how we always saw it when we were little).

Pie sandwiches

Also known as a pie barm or wigan kebab, this is a sandwich that’s truly unique. It also gets the nod of approval from Americans.

Jam sandwiches

To be honest, jam sandwiches have always felt a little bit lacking to us – especially when you’re digging their soggy, squashed remains out of the bottom of your school bag. We might have to agree with the Americans on this one.

Image:  joshuaheller / Creative Commons

Corned beef sandwiches

The ultimate reminder that your grandparents lived through rationing.


Corner shop sandwiches

Enough said.

Image: The Ribbon in my Journal

Banana sandwiches

An elevated take on the sugar sandwich, the addition of granulated is not a question in our books. What is of the utmost importance, though, is whether you have yours smashed or sliced.

Image: I Just Make Sandwiches

Roast dinner leftover sandwiches

Beef and horseradish is an iconic combo, enough said. We’re surprised the Americans didn’t like this one, given the iconic moist maker episode in FRIENDS, we figured this was a thing.

Image: Joby from the block @jobiwhan74

Crisp sandwiches

The greatest of all time, the crisp butty is not to be messed with. Only to be eaten on the cheapest white bread, it’s the best of them all (in our humble opinion). One pub group in Manchester even has its own crisp butty menu, thank you very much.