When we moved to Sevilla we kept asking people to suggest us some local food to try. The name ‘serranito’ came up quite often so when we went out for a meal we checked the ingredients which basically included bread, jamón, some grilled meat, tomato and other non-interesting things. We were a bit puzzled as we just couldn’t understand how could a sandwich be a whole region’s favourite meal?
People however kept suggesting trying it to us including our Spanish housemate and our Argentinian intercambio partner, too. The last straw was when during my Spanish class I had to talk about jamón and I told my teacher (a true born and bred Sevillan) all about the controversial matter of the serranito. I was chatting happily about how everybody seemed to be obsessed with this sandwich and we just don’t understand why when I finally noticed her reaction. She’s generally a very calm person but at that point the outrage was written all over her face. She started telling me that it’s not only bread and jamón but there are many other ingredients to it that all add up to the amazing taste and that it’s the best thing ever in the whole world and how dare a ‘quiri’ say that it’s nothing interesting. I quickly apologised before she broke down crying and vowed to myself that I have to go and try this mysterious food as soon as I can.
On the next day at lunchtime I packed up my camera and Paul and went to the place my teacher suggested called Mesón Serranito.
The decoration seemed to center around bullfighting and we were sat down between four huge black bullheads mounted on the wall. The restaurant was full of locals when we arrived which is always a good sign. We ordered a sandwich then waited for the magic.
Well. I mean, I really like trying local food and Spain so far has managed to impress me gastronomically but when the waiter put the sandwich in front of us we just looked at each other. I mean seriously! THAT’S IT?!
It’s a warm sandwich stuffed with a few thin slices of jamón, a piece of grilled pork and other things such as scrambled eggs, tomato, a few leaves of lettuce and grilled green pepper.
I had a bite. Paul had a bite. We chewed and swallowed. Nothing. I’m sorry Spain but this just doesn’t cut it for us. I love your thousands of types of tapas, I love your stews and grilled meat and seafood and everything else but however I look at it, however big bite I take, this is just what we thought it would be: a sandwich!