Perhaps… A few years ago Mark Bittman claimed to have eaten the best sandwich ever off La Rambla in Barcelona. Naturally, I made it a point to stop by this easily overlooked cafe just past La Boqueria.
I found an open stool around the counter and ordered my lunch, a flauta d’iberico d.o. jabugo and a beer. It was essentially a ham sandwich on steroids. Here is the kicker though, there were only three ingredients: bread, tomato, and ham. The bread was essentially a short, thin, crispy baguette. It had been rubbed with a juicy tomato to give a little flavor and moisture (no tomato slices here). The last ingredient was some ham. That’s it.
Well, that’s not it. It wasn’t just any ham. It was jamón ibérico from the town of Jabugo (known for it’s high quality hams). The jamón ibéricos of Spain are the best cured hams in the world. If you can get your hands on any jamón ibérico de bellota (from Salamanca or Jabugo), get it. It is expensive, easily reaching over $100 a pound, but worth it. Eating it is like having a private party for your taste buds. If you get the “de bellota” (acorn) variety, you will even taste a mild nuttiness to the meat as it dissolves away. If you think prosciutto is delicious, jamón ibérico puts that to shame.
All this is simply to say that my lunch was amazing. Best sandwich ever? I still don’t know, but there was nothing I would change about it. Perfect in it’s simplicity.