a roll—or a grilled sandwich

In Italian a panino is a 'little bread' or roll, and as in English, the word has come to refer to a sandwich made with one (the proper name is a panino imbottito, usually involving a ciabatta or a rosetta), but never sliced bread: then it would became a tramezzino.

Panini may have spread around the world, where they nearly always grilled in a special press; in Italy, however, you will probably have to ask if you want it caldo (warm).

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