Tag Archives: Book Learnin’

Barros Jarpa and Barros Luco

It’s a Twofer, gang! Get excited!

It is entirely fitting that we cram these two sandwiches together because they are related both historically and taste-orically (huh?).  The Barros Jarpa y Luco hail from Chile and have kind of a neat lil’ backstory.  The two sandwiches were created in the restaurant of the National Congress of Chile.  The Barros Jarpa, a melty ham and cheese, is named after Ernesto Barros Jarpa, a lawyer and politician.  This guy right here:

Well hello, Glasses.

As for the sandwich’s origin story, I will just let this delightful bit of google translate do its work: 

“very slow considering the preparation of Sandwich Barros Luco, and as always was rushed, called an ‘ally ham-cheese’, but hot, and the servants to see him come and meet their plight shouted inward from the kitchen: ‘A Jarpa Barros, master’, thus baptizing popular Chilean sandwich known as Barros Jarpa.”

Okey-dokey then!

The Barros Luco is a melty steak and cheese, with peppers, and it is named after Senor Barros Jarpa’s cousin, Ramon Barros Luco.  This fella’:

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Well hello, Moustache!

This gentleman became the president of Chile, and his government’s philosophy was “99% of problems solve themselves, and the remaining 1% have no solutions” which perhaps explains why Senor Barros Luco is now best known for creating a sandwich (not that there is anything wrong with that, I think the vicomtesse and I would about kill for the opportunity to coin a famous sandwich).

So how do these bad boys stack up?

Predictions:

The general consensus was that these sandwiches would be kinda boring, which partly explains why we decided to cover them together.  However, we both acknowledged that there is nothing wrong with any of the ingredients involved so we expected they would be rather tasty, just nothing earthshattering. 

Preparation:

Props to the vicomtesse for spearheading this one.  She picked up some nice crusty white bread, some good ham, some hanger steak, some peppers, and (after searching in vain for the correct cheese) some pepper jack.  

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The steak was sliced thinly and sauteed with balsamic vinegar, peppers and garlic.  The ham was also fried a bit.  Then we assembled the sandwiches and toasted them in the cast-iron.

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Impressions:

Very tasty indeed! Those deceased Chilean politicians knew what they were talking about.  We both preferred the Barros Luco because of the extra kick that the hot peppers added, but gosh, does anyone have a problem with a melty ham and cheese?  I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THEM. 

Final Question: Do you immediately want to eat another of this (these) sandwich(es)?

Sure, why not?  I believe our prediction was quite accurate.  This sandwich is a little boring but definitely tasty.  With a little experimentation, perhaps these could be outstanding sandwiches — particularly the Barros Luco (balsamic, hot peppers, and steak is a LEGIT flavor profile) — but they do leave a little something to be desired.  

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A Brief History of the Sandwich

Hello Fans of Sandwiches, i.e., EVERYBODY,

Here, for your reading pleasure, is this history of the noble sandwich, cribbed entirely from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich.

Like all good things in life, the sandwich was invented by the Jews! (Her Eminence is herself a Jew so it is okay for me to take credit for all of sandwichdom). During Passover, a wise elder Jew had the good sense to put some lamb meat in between two Matzohs “in the manner of a modern sandwich made with flatbread.”  This was obviously totally delicious as well as being portable when one is wandering through the desert for 40 years, and the World’s Most Finest Convenience Food was born.

Then we skip a significant period of time to end up in the Middle Ages, a rough-and-tumble historical era ably captured by Monty Python movies.  There is not much going for the Middle Ages except for the fact that they TOTALLY HAD SANDWICHES, YOU GUYS.  The Middle Agers would use stale bread called “trenchers” as plates.  “Trenchers were the precursors of open-faced sandwiches.” Thanks, Wikipedia! [note from the vicomtesse: oh my god you guys I am so excited for open-faced sandwiches now {subnote: I was already excited}]

However, the most direct precursor to the modern sandwich comes to us from the clever Dutch, who would hang beef from the rafters of their taverns (as you do) and take slices from the rafter-beef and lay those slices on buttered bread.

Sad Fact: For a time, the sandwich was both sexist and degenerate as it was shared by men while gambling.  However, a secret that good is not going to stay a secret forever, and eventually sandwiches became accepted by the aristocracy as a viable food-source (but only as a late night meal.  Aristocratic Sandwiches…the Original Fourth Meal (TM)).

Once adopted by the rich, the humble sandwich experienced a meteoric rise throughout the rest of Western Europe and eventually  the United States.

Her Eminence is realizing as she writes this that Wikipedia’s History of the Sandwich is awfully Eurocentric (apart from the brief reference to the Jews (yay!)).  I therefore promise you, fellow sandwich-worshippers, that I will try to find a more representative history of the sandwich to share with you all at some other point when her eminence is not at work.