The first time I came across the little sandwich concept was in Madrid, Spain. They call them bocadillos or bocata because they are little mouthfuls. Boca isn’t just short for Boca Raton, it means mouth in Spanish. Throughout cafes and bars in Spain, you can find little bocadillos filled simply with jamon serrano, lomo or tortilla de patata . They seldom contain more than one ingredient, although sometimes they contain olive oil or smushed ripe tomato. Spain is also home to my other favorite “finger” sandwich that can be found at Rodilla, but I will reserve that for another day when I run out of ideas. Perhaps it is because I am Colombian and we don’t do the BIG sandwich thing or maybe I am just a fan of small bites in general, but I like to graze and you can’t graze on a hoagie.
My first little sandwichito experience in the in the states was at La Boulange in SF. They have a variety of mini baguette morsels for you to savour, from my favorite, BLT, to turkey pesto. At $3.25 a pop, they are hard to pass up. I compare them visually to little eels sticking their tongues out.
Until recently, La Boulange was the only joint to pick up a mini baguette sandwich. A friend of mine led me to Blue Fog market, which is exactly a 7 minute walk from my house where they sell their version, called “bocaditos”. They also make big sandwiches and sell beautiful gourmet food, drinks and beautiful Blue Bottle coffee. They offer two varieties of bocaditos, a salmon and arugula and salami, cream cheese and honey. It sounds strange, but it works. The other day, I walked over for my bocadito and macchiato fix and they were out. I asked the sandwich monger if he could make me one from scratch and he said that he was out of the little baguette, but would I mind if he fashioned one out of a large? I said, “go for it sandwichier” He cut about 5-6″ piece out of a large baguette, sliced it down the middle through the top and then did a partial slice down the side. A little bulb went off and I realized that I could teach the world and maybe the galaxy how to make mini baguette sandwiches using a large baguette!
I skipped down the block to Blue Fog this morning to take some photos. Luckily, the manager, Cody, was kind enough to pose for a photo. Whilst I was waiting for my macchiato, large and mini baguettes in hand, three firefighters walked in and I thought, Photo Op!!! It took me a few minutes to muster up the courage to ask them to pose with bread. I could barely get the words out. I recounted the story to my husband just now and I could hear him roll his eyes over the phone. Hey, if three Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders had walked in while he was investigating a little sandwich story, well… I digress as usual. The firefighters were a little reticent. A perfect stranger was asking them to pose with two long loaves of bread. Being the life savers that they are, they agreed.
Here, my friends, is how you can make a mini baguette sandwich at home using a large baguette. One large baguette will yield 8 mini sandwiches.
I urge you guys to try this at home and post pics on my RealFoodies Facebook page. This is a great idea to switch up a kids lunch, make easy sandwiches for hikes and pic nics or to make for yourself as snacks during the week. There are so many flavor varieties out there for baguettes, you can go nuts, literally. You can make your kids Nutella and banana minis and if you are really lazy or can’t find a baguette, don’t tell anybody, but a hot dog bun will do the trick.