Thursday, 13 November 2008 by kinakoJam
I was so inspired by the pocket-sized manchego sandwich at Farga in Barcelona that I wanted to contest Mark Bittman's anointed ham roll, with my own video blog post. But sadly I did not feel like carrying around two cameras on that wet & windy day. Thus I make do with a regular blog post (at least until the next time I visit Barcelona. Then, Mark Bittman, it's on).
So imagine me saying this to camera:
The manchego sandwich which you can grab from the counter at Fargo with a pair of tongs, might not be the best sandwich in the world, but it is definitely the best sandwich in Barcelona, each and every time you eat it. Especially if you are female.
It is not soaked in grease and packed with slivers of shiny salt-cured ham like the boiled German-brezel-like baguettes at the chain known as Café Viena, which are much more suitable for the appetites of hearty men. (And which were certainly enjoyed by my German husband after long days of studio-building).
The bread is not exactly as crunchy as glass, but it does have a nice egg-shell crispness on the outside, that makes it very precious and satisfying to chomp through with the slightly oily and piquant cheese, soft smear of tomato, and the added texture of nuts in the bread.
If you order a few of them takeaway, this venerable patisserie will package them up in a nifty, wide-bottomed paper carry bag with black handles that would not look amiss next to an Hermès handbag.
And because it is so small and flavour-packed, you can also enjoy one of their five centimeter-long sandwiches with iberico ham and a wedge of egg, soft like the Japanese-style tamago-yaki. The bread for this sandwich is multigrain and comes topped with a few oats, so there will be no guilt afterwards.
Lady-like fingers will rest easy grabbing one of these.
Also, they are quite cheap, somewhere between one and two euros.
Farga (since 1957)
- Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 630 (also open on Sundays)
-Avinguda Diagonal 391
-Gran de Gracia 262
(I am seriously drooling right now. Not so ladylike after all.)