** Guest post by Antonella Delfino.
In Peru we have a local type of ham called Jamón del País. Traditionally, this kind of ham was home-made by cooking a boned pork leg for a long time in a mixture made with pepper, garlic, achiote, cumin, dry oregano and lard. Today, supermarkets, bakeries, and many other stores offer a very good quality of this ham, and most families find it more convenient to buy it instead of making it. This ham is the key ingredient to prepare butifarras, a popular and traditional sandwich in Peru.
Butifarras have an interesting history – like many other Peruvian dishes. During the Spanish Colony, sausage consumption was incorporated into our culture, butifarra being the name of a very famous Catalan sausage. On the other hand, Italian immigrants prepared artisan smoked hams, giving birth to this ham that was baptized as jamon del pais or country ham. The name already indicates this ham was created in the place they now called their country.
Originally, this sandwich was made with jamón del país, salsa criolla, radishes, lettuce and chili. With time some ingredients were removed and others were added. The round bread used is called roseta, and has a crispy exterior and is almost empty inside. It´s delicious!
The same Italian communities that created this ham were involved in Pisco production, so there has always been a close relationship between both products. As a matter of fact, if you ever travel to Peru, stop by any of the traditional “bodegas” that produce Pisco and you’ll probably find yourself eating a butifarra alongside your drink.
This delicious sandwich has been with us throughout our lives: we have them at birthday parties, at school and university kiosks, and as part of our Sunday breakfast. You can actually find a butifarra in Lima 24 hours a day, because it is sold in sangucherías (places that sell all kinds of sandwiches), night and day.
Butifarras are part of our culinary culture and we cannot live without them, or at least, I can´t. I don’t live in Lima and have not been able to find jamón del país; but I make my butifarras with the most similar ingredients I can find. I use roasted pepper ham or roasted turkey, and although it’s not the same, it works out perfectly and contains the essence of my favorite sandwich.
- 6 medium ciabatta rolls
- 1 recipe Salsa Criolla
- 4 leaves iceberg lettuce
- ¾ pound ham
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon aji amarillopaste
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Heat the bread for 5 minutes and cut lengthwise.
- In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, mustard and aji amarillo paste. Spread on the bread.
- Put a bed of lettuce in the bread, then accommodate the ham and finally top with salsa criolla.