The word "butifarra" is the name of a Spanish sausage from Catalan, and during the many years Peru was a Spanish colony, eating butifarra became part of the culture. Legend has it that butifarra sandwiches were first sold during bullfights.
Now it's the name of the essential Peruvian sandwich -- filled with slices of savory jamon del país, Peruvian country-style seasoned ham, and the wonderful sweet onion relish called salsa criolla. Italian immigrants brought artisanal smoked ham to Peru and it is this ham, not the sausage, for which the sandwich is named.
Radishes, lettuce, and chilies were also part of the sandwich originally, but now ingredients vary depending on taste, except for the ham and salsa criolla. Butifarra is traditionally served on crusty round French bread rolls.
These sandwiches are so much a part of Peruvian culture that they are commonly served at birthday parties, in school cafeterias, on food carts and at sangucherías, the Peruvian version of an American diner. Peru regards pisco as its national drink, so go ahead and have your pisco drink of choice with this masterpiece of a sandwich.
- 4 French bread sandwich rolls
- Optional: 1/4 cup mayonaise
- 1 pound jamon del país (sliced)
- 2 cups lettuce
- 1 cup salsa criolla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
- Split the French rolls in half lengthwise and spread the inside lightly with mayonnaise if desired.
- Divide the jamon (recipe here) among the four rolls and place inside rolls with lettuce.
- Add 1/4 cup salsa criolla (recipe here) to each roll.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This is the basic recipe for a butifarra. Change it up with mustard instead of mayonnaise, add aji amarillo sauce for extra heat or serve on ciabatta rolls instead of French bread.