el bocadillo – the definitive minimalist sandwich

jamon bocadillo

OK so I have a confession.

Spain has been home now for exactly a week and, well, I haven’t eaten out. That’s right seven whole days and I am yet to set foot in a restaurant or bar. Before you start wondering what’s wrong, let me explain.

I’ve become addicted to the markets here. Hell, even a trip to the supermercado is an adventure.

My first day in the beautiful city of Barcelona I went to no less than three different markets and two different supermarkets. There were so many enticing things that I just had to take them home – lucky my apartment is fitted with a lovely minimalist kitchen.

So I’ve been having so much fun shopping and cooking at home that I just haven’t felt like eating out alone.

Which brings me to my next confession. I am completely addicted to jamon. Ever since the nice man in la Boqueria market gave me a mouthful of the wonderful jamon iberico de belotta, I’ve been hooked. Not a day goes by that I haven’t partaken of the pig.

Which brings me to the humble bocadillo – the minimalist Spanish sandwich.

Just a baguette filled with some meat, cheese, omelet or tuna. The Spanish do not add lettuce, pickles, onions, mustard or mayonnaise to their bocadillo which appeals to the minimalist in me. Sometimes the bread is moistened by rubbing the cut side of a tomato onto the bread, or drizzling some olive oil – or both. But mostly it’s just bread and one filling.

I find good quality jamon is flavoursome and moist enough to enjoy on its own.

Allow me to share my latest favourite lunch – and the best thing is you don’t have to be living in Barcelona to be able to make it for yourself.

bocadillo with jamon

bocadillo with jamon

serves 1

If you’re lucky enough to be in Spain you could make this sandwich with a different type of jamon every day. Proscuitto or parma ham would make good substitutes.

If you’re feeling nervous that your sandwich will be too dry, serve with some good extra virgin olive oil on the side. But please trust me and try it without the oil first.

1/2 – 1/3 baguette
2 – 4 slices jamon

Break open baguette. Layer with jamon, close up and enjoy.



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