El Bocadillo

El Bocadillo

It may have become apparent by now just how much I love sandwiches, and it is always cause for elation to discover a new source for superior sandwich indulgence.

Bellota-Bellota is a store in the 7th that specializes in fine food products from Spain and also operates as an upscale tapas bar. A string of such venues opened a few years ago when the Paris food scene realized with a start that gastronomy did not stop at the Pyrenées — all things Iberian have been riding that trendy wave ever since. The company behind Bellota-Bellota, called Byzance, has a few locations in and around Paris, including a corner inside Lafayette Gourmet, the food area of the Galeries Lafayette department store.

I was there just the other day, it was lunchtime, I was hungry, and their bocadillos (bocadillo simply means “sandwich” in Spanish) looked like the perfect option. A glance at the little menu confirmed the intuition, describing the bocadillo with the following:

“Un pain au naturel farine biologique, cuit au feu de bois comme autrefois. De fines tranches de palette de Pata Negra. L’écrasée de tomates maison à l’huile d’olive Arbequina, fabriquée en Catalogne. Quelques pétales de manchego au lait cru des brebis manchega. Un trait d’huile d’olive.”

Which translates as: “Natural organic bread, baked the old-fashioned way in a woodfire oven. Thin slices of Pata Negra paleta [ham taken from the shoulder blade]. Homemade tomato spread made with Arbequina olive oil, produced in Catalogna. A few petals of manchego cheese made with the raw milk of manchega sheep. A dash of olive oil.”

You really have to hand it to those guys. Anyone who describes a sandwich in such poetic and mouth-watering detail, anyone who delivers such a tasty, moist, perfect piece of sandwich luxury* — each ingredient playing its part flawlessly and responding deliciously to one another — deserves a medal of some kind.

And well, said piece of sandwich luxury certainly holds you over till dinner time.

* One bocadillo is 6.80€.

18 rue Jean Nicot
75007 Paris
01 53 59 96 96

Lafayette Gourmet
48 boulevard Haussmann
75009 Paris

  • It looks and sounds delicious — like a Spanish panini. How universal “good” is!

    But, at first glance, I thought it was going to be a continuation of your dessert sandwiches — a bit of pâte à choux (perhaps deep fried) split and filled with berries or confiture and a dab of crème anglaise with a dusting of powdered sugar.

    I’d settle for either one. ;>

  • rutep

    Dear Clotilde
    je viens de decouvrir ton blogue.
    Congratulations, it’s wonderful. I am also a sandwiche-lover and delight in making them as appetizers or treats for husband and friends. My new favourite is white cornbread with butter+Pata Negra+a touch of S. Miguel cheese.

  • Allisa

    Oh! And how yummy is a sandwich on ciabatta! And beautiful too. This has to be my favorite bread for the sandwich…my favorite meal. No dishes necessary!

  • Adelaide

    Have you ever had a sandwich at Cosi on Rue de Seine in the 6th, Clotilde? I was the American “Cosi Girl” for a mish-mashed total of 12 months a couple years ago. “Ciboulettes? Basilique? L’huile d’olive?” Ah, the memories. And the sandwiches were pretty darn good, too, though if your timing is off you have have to battle the university students to get through the door.

  • We enjoyed many bocadillos on our walk across Spain last year. How I wish I could buy the jamon from Spain here in NZ, and recreate the Spanish sandwich.

  • “petals of cheese”? omigosh…yum!! I love sandwiches too, esp made with good homemade bread.

    Lovely site Clotilde…makes me very hungry each time I’m here. LOL! :P

  • Hmm, absolutely georgeous! Looking at this beautifully plump sandwich makes my decision for lunch complete.

  • c’est un supplice ce post

    pour ceux qui aujourd’hui n’ont jamais mangé de jambon espagnol ou de manchego, je vous conseille vivement de suivre l’exemple et les conseils de Clotilde

    I am a spanish ham addict, it’s very difficult to see this picture without a “bocadillo” in my hand

  • Only 10:30 in the morning, and my mouth is already watering. The sandwich looks and sounds delicious!

  • Oh! And how yummy is a sandwich on ciabatta! And beautiful too. This has to be my favorite bread for the sandwich…my favorite meal. No dishes necessary!

  • Becca

    ok I need help with finding out what this thing I ate in Spain was called. It looked like a hot dog bun but inside there was chocolate and on each end it was dipped in chocolate. It was bought from a store but I don’t remember the name of it. Can someone, anyone, help?

  • mere

    the bocadillo you describe (commonly called pan tumaca, although the original pan tumaca doesnt include ham) is, in my opinion, the best thing spanish cuisine has to offer. simple but delicious and with great ingredients (a good description of spanish cuisine). The three ingredients that can never missed are the pure virgin olive oil, some tomato spead in the bread and jamon iberico.
    After years of living abroad that is the thing i miss the most from spain, and the first thing i eat when i get back.
    by the way, becca, this may be a lil late, but the only thing i can think of that looks like a hot dog bun is a bollycao (but it is not homemade)
    the website: http://www.bollycao.es (the site is a piece of s**t but you may see there if its the one you mean)

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