Lately I’ve been having a hard time getting my mind off South American sandwiches. In just a couple of weeks, articles about the Chivito sandwich from Uruguay, and the Argentinian pebete and sandwich de miga has just popped up. I have an upcoming trip to precisely Argentina soon, and it’s been about 15 years since I was there for the last time. Maybe these are subconscious cravings that are manifesting itself through this blog? Well, at least they aren’t subconscious anymore.
To not step on any South American toes by focusing solely on Argentina and Uruguay, I thought it was time to take a closer look at Brazil. What kind of sandwiched intricacies could they possibly offer? Turns out, the Bauru sandwich packs a thousand punches. Maybe I’ll do a pit stop in Sao Paulo to see for myself.
The Bauru: A Simple Brazilian Sandwich
So the Bauru is nothing but a Brazilian classic. It is what the Korean taco is to the States. Just kidding. Make it more like a BLT.
The way the sandwich is built:
The clue is to use a crusty baguette, batard, or similar sandwich roll that has had some of the crumb scooped out to allow the ingredients to be mounded up inside.
Don’t let yourself be fooled by the simplicity and popularity of the Bauru sandwich, though. There are secrets to be followed when preparing one. It’s all about the preparation and the way you utilize the ingredients.
These are the must haves!
The cheese = mozzarella. Must be melted in a double broiler or bain-marie.
Remove the crumbs from the bread
Don’t forget the salt and oregano!
Besides the original roast beef recipe, there are many popular variations of the Bauru sandwich. People often use regular ham a lot of times instead. Now, like any sandwich, variants do exist, but oddly enough there’s some sort of cohesiveness between the variants that you simply don’t see when searching for just any sandwich. Try a simple image search and see for yourself.
FUN FACT: The sandwich is taken very seriously by the inhabitants of Bauru. To a degree that a certification program exist, simply to make sure that Brazilian sandwich-makers adhere to the standards set by the city.
The history of the Bauru Sandwich
The Bauru sandwich got its name in honor of the city of Bauru, but was conceived in the city of Sao Paulo at the Ponte Chic restaurant in the early 1930s. With a population over 360,000, Bauru is located in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. It’s where Pelé began playing soccer but for the sake of keeping this blog on point this nugget of information is irrelevant.
How it got created is the interesting fact. Just like the Chivito, the Bauru sandwich was born in a time where anybody could just enter a place to eat and just ask the cook to just make something. As a result, Casimiro Pinto Neto, a law student from Bauru, walked into his favorite eatery in São Paulo sometime in 1934 and told the cook to make a sandwich just for him.
He first asked the cook to use some French bread and remove the soft interior, put in some melted cheese, add a few slices of roast beef, add a few slices of tomato. Mister Neto baptized it “Baurú,” in honor of his hometown. Once he and another customer tasted it, everyone was ordering the sandwich, exclaiming “Me vê um do Bauru!”. Needless to say, it became the Ponte Chic’s best selling item and catapulted to become the most popular Brazilian sandwich. It managed to do that pretty fast too, since the eatery was frequented by politicians, footballers and other famous people, who all loved the new sandwich.
There are dedicated fans of the Bauru sandwich both in Brazil and also abroad. Many variations of the Brazilian sandwich has been created around the world for many years. Some are close to the original and some quite different. Variants with pickled cucumbers and many cheese variations are often seen around eateries in Brazil, especially.
How to make one
– crusty Portuguese style bread roll
– 3 pieces of mozzarella cheese (thick ones, best melted in a double boiler also known as a banho-maria)
– 3 thin slices of tomato
– 3 slices of deli roast beef (loin or rump cut)
– 2 pickles, sliced as well
– Salt and oregano
1) Heat the oven to 355° Fahrenheit / 180° Celsius.
2) Split roll in halves lengthwise and place the roast beef, tomato, pickles, and mozzarella on bottom.
3) Cover with the top bun and place on a baking sheet.
4) Bake for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
5) Serve while hot, cause ain’t nobody got time to wait anyhow.
6) You should be eating a mean brazilian sandwich at this moment
- Calories 801 – From Fat 135
- Total Fat 15g – Saturated Fat 8g – Trans Fat 0g
- Cholesterol 70 mg
- Sodium 1838 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 113g – Dietary Fiber 6g – Sugars 7g
- Protein 53 g
For a popular variation, melt a slice of provolone, a slice of Swiss and a slice of Steppe. If you prefer a more calorie friendly sandwich, you can be the stronger person and use only one slice of melted cheese.
(good luck with that!)