June 6, 2005
Bellota-Bellota is a store in the 7th that specializes in fine food products from Spain and also operates as an upscale tapas bar. A string of such venues opened a few years ago when the Paris food scene realized with a start that gastronomy did not stop at the Pyrenées -- all things Iberian have been riding that trendy wave ever since. The company behind Bellota-Bellota, called Byzance, has a few locations in and around Paris, including a corner inside Lafayette Gourmet, the food area of the Galeries Lafayette department store.
I was there just the other day, it was lunchtime, I was hungry, and their bocadillos (bocadillo simply means "sandwich" in Spanish) looked like the perfect option. A glance at the little menu confirmed the intuition, describing the bocadillo with the following:
"Un pain au naturel farine biologique, cuit au feu de bois comme autrefois. De fines tranches de palette de Pata Negra. L'écrasée de tomates maison à l'huile d'olive Arbequina, fabriquée en Catalogne. Quelques pétales de manchego au lait cru des brebis manchega. Un trait d'huile d'olive."
Which translates as: "Natural organic bread, baked the old-fashioned way in a woodfire oven. Thin slices of Pata Negra paleta [ham taken from the shoulder blade]. Homemade tomato spread made with Arbequina olive oil, produced in Catalogna. A few petals of manchego cheese made with the raw milk of manchega sheep. A dash of olive oil."
You really have to hand it to those guys. Anyone who describes a sandwich in such poetic and mouth-watering detail, anyone who delivers such a tasty, moist, perfect piece of sandwich luxury* -- each ingredient playing its part flawlessly and responding deliciously to one another -- deserves a medal of some kind.
And well, said piece of sandwich luxury certainly holds you over till dinner time.
* One bocadillo is 6.80€.
18 rue Jean Nicot
01 53 59 96 96
48 boulevard Haussmann
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