Lima’s sandwich boom




Translated and adapted by Alix Farr

November 16, 2012


In the book, “Gastronomic Chronicles,” Jorge Salazar remembers John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, whose passion for playing cards meant that he would never leave the game table, even to eat. He would ask that he be served a small snack of cold meat between two slices of bread, to satiate his British appetite.

Since then, sandwiches have evolved quite a bit. Classics like those with steak, ham and other meats are among the favorites of cafes, restaurants and bakeries.

One outstanding case in Lima is that of Montecristo, which offers a line of mini-sandwiches in a box of a dozen for breakfasts or corporate events, in varieties such as mini hamburgers andtriples, roast beef and English ham, and other specials like pickled beats or teriyaki pork.

But if what you are looking for is a nice presentation, look for gourmet sandwiches that come in 16 cm and 22 cm sizes and use the “submarine”-style bread in combination with a diverse array of ingredients.

One of Gaston Acurio’s most recent projects, Papacho’s, has developed a line of original hamburgers with a homemade taste and artisan techniques. The Peruvian touch can be found in each one of the ingredients and sauces.

There’s the Papacho’s Blue Cheese, with bacon, elderberry ketchup, onion rings, lettuce and tomato.  There is also a cheddar one, with a very American style, but that also has mushrooms, potato sticks and a pepper steak sauce.

What’s new are the vegetarian options. The hamburgers made with lentils and quinoa (Miss Veggie Burger) with mango chutney, lima bean dip and sprouts will leave no one missing the meat.

If, like the Earl of Sandwich, what we lack is time to sit at the table, there is La Lucha, whosecriollo-style sandwiches can be enjoyed to go or while sitting at a bar. On the menu, there are classics like chicharrón, ham or roast beef, but there are also other options like a tuna panini or the “club a la leña,” which contains turkey, chicken, ham, cheese and egg.

But if we can take up the old custom of having a mid-afternoon snack, or to trade out a dinner for a sandwich, La Antojería offers the perfect space and flavor. The “peruanazos” sandwiches, which include chicharrón, turkey breast, baked piglet and smoked tenderloin, will make you remember the best of the homemade sandwiches that you have ever tried.



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