If you ever visited Spain, you probably know what bocadillo is and what an important part of Spanish cuisine and culture it represents. At a glance, you might think this is just a regular sandwich but it’s much more than that. If you want to learn about this legendary street food snack and how to make it at home, our bocadillo recipe will show you everything you need to know. But let’s start from the beginning…
What is a bocadillo?
To answer this question in the most simple way possible, bocadillo is a type of sandwich. Bocadillos are made on a long baguette that Spanish people call pan de barra. See, this might not seem like a big difference to you, but in Spain it is. The standard definition of a sandwich (in Spain) includes something that’s added between two pieces of pan de molde (square, sliced bread) while bocadillo is something that’s added between two pieces of tubular barra de pan and is not to be confused with a sandwich.
Traditionally, bocadillo was seen as humble food because of its low cost, and even today, the key to making a delicious bocadillo is simplicity. That’s why you can find bocadillos everywhere; on the street, in cafes, tapa bars, restaurants, etc. Bocadillo is usually served with a cold beer or red wine or another kind of soft drink and a portion of tapas.
It can be said that the idea of putting animal protein and spices between carbohydrates (bread) is as old as baking but the traditional bocadillos recipe has its origins back in the 15th century. Around this time, according to the chronicles of the Indies, the word “chusco” was often mentioned to describe a sandwich-like snack filled with cheese, eggs, tomato, and cold cuts.
A chusco variation that used veal meat quickly rose to popularity and to distinguish the two, it got the name Pepito or and was used to describe a snack with high caloric value but relatively easy to make, and even easier to eat. As for the name this snack has today (bocadillo), it probably appeared somewhere around the 17th century. The name likely originates from the word ‘bocado’, meaning mouthful. Needless to say, the Spanish language evolved a lot from the 17th century and the word bocadillo evolved as a diminutive of ‘bocado’.
Since the 1950s, bocadillos have been considered a symbol of ‘proletarian food’ because of its affordability and a decent level of calories but during the second half of the 20th century, it became one of the most popular snacks in Spain. Some people even combine it with tapas, a salad, or even French fries and turn it into a meal.
Since the main element of bocadillo is bread, the nutrition value of the sandwich depends on the type of flour used for the bread’s preparation but the beauty of bocadillos is that you can mix up the ingredients as you plead and turn it into a healthy meal but it can also become a junk food if you add enough greasy ingredients.
This brings us to the next point…
Breakdown Of The Ingredients
As you’ll see below, there are a lot of regional variations of the bocadillo recipe but the most standard variation includes baguettes, round slices of pickled green (or red) peppers, slices of pork loin, round slices of tomatoes, sliced Manchego cheese, and some olive oil. The sandwich goes great with some mojo picon (a spicy local red sauce) or garlic mayo known as alioli.
You can find different types of bocadillos in different parts of Spain. Some of the most famous variations include serranito, esgarrat, and almussafes. Serranito is a sandwich made with a special type of bread and it includes, both pork loin and cured Serrano ham. This type of bocadillos is popular in Andalusia.
Amussafes is a sandwich that features Sobrasada (a raw, cured sausage from the Balearic Islands), onion, and cheese and is very popular in the Valencia region.
Esgarrat is slightly different from the other two variations because it uses esgarraet, a salad that consists of grilled red peppers, garlic, olive oil, and cured cud. This type of bocadillo is popular in Valencia and Catalonia.
These three variations of the bocadillo recipe are most popular, but as we said above, you can experiment with the ingredients according to your preference. That’s why in different places in Spain, you can find:
Egg bocadillos that consist of different types of omelets or fried eggs;
Cold meat bocadillos in which the main ingredients are Jamon (dry-cured ham) and mortadella;
Cooked meat bocadillos made from either pork fillet, chicken fillet (Pechuga), or beef (Pepito);
Sausage bocadillos, such as Chistorra, Longaniza, Chorizo, or Morcilla.
Fish bocadillos– the main ingredient can be tuna fish and sardines to cuttlefish, salmon, or even squids;
Cheese bocadillos– with several different types of cheese, suitable for vegetarians;
Veg bocadillos– made of tomatoes, Pisto, and other vegetables, suitable for vegans;
Chocolate bocadillos, that make a great dessert.
Bocadillos are traditionally eaten as a snack, most often combined with a cold beer or a soft drink. However, as we said above, you can make a meal out of it if you combine it with some other light snacks, such as a salad, French fries, Patatas Bravas, or anything that you think is a good fit. After all, you’ll be the one eating it!
- 1 Baguette
- 6 ounces of Prosciutto or Jamon
- 5 ounces of Manchego cheese (sliced)
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 3 Roma Tomatoes
- 1 Italian Green Pepper
- 6 Tablespoons Olive oil
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon of mojo picon/garlic may
1. Add the olive oil to a small saucepan and place it under medium heat.
2. Slice the peppers and fry them in the olive oil until they become crispy and tender.
3. Dry off the oil from the peppers, add some salt, and set them aside.
4. Fry the Prosciutto or Jamon for not more than 2 minutes.
5. Cut the baguette into half and press the sliced pieces of garlic into the baguette.
6. brush some olive oil, and fry it over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
7. Add the Prosciutto or Jamon Place the peppers and while it's still warm, add the cheese on top of it. After this, add the tomato slices and sprinkle some salt. Finally, add the fried peppers on top of the tomato slices.
8. Brush some mojo picón or garlic alioli on top of everything and close the bocadillo.
9. Serve with some beer or a soft drink and enjoy!
Serving Size:1 Sandwich
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 587Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6.5gTrans Fat: 1.3gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 985mgCarbohydrates: 43gNet Carbohydrates: 43gFiber: 7.6gSugar: 8.5gProtein: 54g
Did you ever hear of bocadillos? How did you like our bocadillo recipe? Did you try it at home? Let us know how it went!
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