What is pebete?
Pebete is a typical bun from the cuisine of Argentina and Uruguay. Based on durum wheat flour, with a texture close to brioche, it is oval in shape, its crust is thin and its crumb is airy.
What does pebete mean?
The most likely origin of the name of this sandwich bread comes from the acronym PBT, which stands for pan blanco tostado (toasted white bread).
According to the Royal Spanish Academy (ARE), the word pebete comes from the term lunfardo which means “young boy”, itself coming from the Catalan word pevet, and it is said that this bun and sandwiches called pebete also seem to be associated with childhood.
Lunfardo is a slang word born in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, where it become popular in the second half of the 19th century, with the massive arrivals of European immigrants. The word lunfardo is related to the term lumbardo (“lombard” in Italian) which refers to the regional language and the people of Lombardy, a province in northern Italy.
Another meaning of pebete from the dictionary: a stick of aromatic substances which burn without flame and are lit to perfume the air, in this case an incense stick.
The pebete is also a gutter formed from a mass of gunpowder and other products, which is used to light fireworks.
Pebete bread has no known origin related to these last two definitions of the word pebete.
Whatever the sandwich made with pebete bread, it is generally called pebete followed by its filling, for example, pebete de queso (pebete with cheese) or pebete de jamón y queso (pebete with ham and cheese).
The ham or salami and cheese pebete are the two most popular sandwiches, with the addition of tomato and mayonnaise.
Sandwiches around the world
Sandwiches are popular all over the world. Here are some of the most famous sandwiches in the world:
- Sabich is a Judeo-Iraqi pita sandwich that is very popular in Israel and is filled with fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, Israeli salad, hummus, tahini and amba.
- Falafels are a traditional culinary specialty widely popular in the Middle East. The original Egyptian version uses fava beans instead of chickpeas. The falafels can be served on a plate or as a pita sandwich. They are generally accompanied by hummus, tahini, brined vegetables (like turnips), but also salata baladi, red cabbage, or fried eggplant to name a few standard accompaniments.
- Gyros is emblematic of Greek street food, and is composed of pork, chicken, beef or lamb, tomato, onion and tzatziki, served with pita bread.
- Fricassé, is a small fried bread that is savory and with a brioche texture, of Tunisian origin. It is stuffed with boiled potatoes, harissa, tuna, black olives, hard-boiled egg and slata mechouia.
- Shawarma is popular in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Israel. It is eaten as a sandwich in pita bread, and is made with marinated lamb, chicken or beef that is traditionally roasted on a vertical spit.
- Doner kebab, the ultimate Turkish sandwich is made from beef, chicken, lamb or veal, cooked on a vertical spit, then wrapped in a pita (or other types of bread) and usually stuffed with onion, cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes, as well as sauces.
- Welsh rarebit (or Welsh rabbit) is a Welsh toast. It consists of a slice of bread covered with a sauce made from a roux moistened with beer and topped with cheddar, English mustard and Worcestershire sauce. They are then toasted in an oven in order to obtain a hot and crispy result.
- The word muffuletta means two things. First, a variety of round bread covered with sesame seeds and originating in Sicily in Italy. Second, a typical sandwich from Louisiana and more specifically from the city of New Orleans.
- Choripán is a delicious sandwich made with chorizo and chimichurri sauce, that is popular in Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile.
- The po’ boy is a typical sandwich from New Orleans. It consists of a French baguette-style bread garnished with raw vegetables such as tomato slices and greens, white cabbage and topped with roast beef or fried seafood.
- Panes con pavo is a very popular traditional Salvadoran sandwich made with roasted turkey and its sauce, pickled and raw vegetables.
- The Mexican and Tex Mex burrito consists of a tortilla garnished with ground or pulled beef and frijoles refritos (refried beans).
- The Philadelphia cheesesteak, or Philly cheesesteak, is a beef and cheese sandwich, typical of the city of Philadelphia, which often includes sautéed onions, mushrooms and peppers.
- Vegemite toast is a slice of toasted white bread on which this brownish savory spread, based on yeast extract, is applied. It has become an institution across Australia.
- Cemita poblana is a traditional Mexican sandwich topped with chicken, pork or beef, as well as avocado, Oaxaca cheese and chipotle.
- Bánh mì, originally from Saigon in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh), is a traditional sandwich consisting of a crusty baguette, pickled vegetables and roasted meat.
- A cubano is a pressed sandwich with roast pork, ham, and cheese, popularized by Cuban immigrants to Florida in the 19th century.
- Chacarero, a traditional Chilean sandwich, is made with finely sliced beef sirloin. It is prepared with marraqueta bread, tomatoes and green beans.
- Leberkäse semmel, is a culinary specialty in southern Germany, Austria and parts of Switzerland, similar to meatloaf. In French-speaking Switzerland, it is called “Italian cheese”. It is made from corned beef, bacon and onions.
- Chip butty, chip sandwich, chip barm or chip cob in England, piece-n-chips in Scotland and French fry sandwich in North America is a specialty originating from the north of England: a sandwich made of two thick slices of bread crumbs (or a white bun), generously buttered, and a garnish of very hot fries, seasoned as desired with a sauce, preferably tomato sauce or ketchup, or mayonnaise or a brown sauce.
- PB & J, the peanut butter and jam sandwich, known in North American countries as peanut butter and jelly sandwich (commonly abbreviated as PBJ, PB&J or P&J), a very popular sandwich with United States and Canada.
- Obložené chlebíčky, delicious bite-size Czech toast, made with eggs, meats, cheeses and vegetables.
- The croque monsieur, a grilled sandwich stuffed with cooked ham and Emmenthal or Gruyère cheese, au gratin and served hot.
- What New Yorkers call pastrami, Canadians call it “smoked meat”: stacked rye bread with marinated beef breast, mustard and pickle accompaniment.
- John’s Roti, a traditional Singaporean and Malaysian sandwich.
- The miga sandwich, a delicious multi-layered sandwich very popular in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile.
- Smørrebrød, an open Danish sandwich made with rye bread and toppings such as cold cuts, fish or cheese.
Other sandwich breads
Bread is a unique food, present on all tables in the world and differentiated by several hundred qualities.
We can mention pan amasado, which is one of the most traditional and popular varieties of bread in Chile, along with hallulla and marraqueta or ciabatta, a traditional crisp Italian bread with an airy crumb, which is famous all over the world for sandwiches like panini.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup water (at 95 F / 36°C)
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon milk powder
- 5 tablespoons butter , soft
- 3 tablespoons caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk (at 95 F / 36°C)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1½ cup water
- In a bowl, mix the 2 tablespoons of milk and the yeast.
- Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, milk powder and sugar.
- Dig a well in the center and add the diluted yeast.
- Knead at medium speed, gradually incorporating the water.
- When the dough is homogeneous, add the butter and salt and knead again for 10 minutes at low to medium speed, until the butter has completely absorbed the dough.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, place it on a work surface and knead vigorously for 5 minutes.
- Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rise for 45 minutes, away from drafts.
- Divide the dough into 8 pieces of 4 oz (120 g) and roll them up.
- Let stand 15 minutes again.
- Flatten each ball of dough to form a disc about 5 inches (12 centimeters) in diameter.
- Take one of the edges and fold it toward the center and do the same with the opposite edge, then fold down the ends giving them a rather rounded shape.
- Turn the loaves over and work them with a slight back and forth motion.
- Divide the buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them about ¾ inch (1.5 to 2 cm).
- Cover them with a cloth and let them rise for 30 minutes.
- During the last rise, prepare the chuño:
- In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch and cold water.
- Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring until a slightly thick mixture is obtained.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 390 F (200°C) for 15 minutes.
- Brush each bun with the chuño.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350 F (180°C).
- Bake the breads for 20 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet, brush again with chuño and bake again for 10 additional minutes.
- Let cool on rack.