Discover Chile’s Beloved Barros Jarpa: The Ultimate Ham and Mantecoso Cheese Sandwich

Barros Jarpa

The Barros Jarpa: A Sandwich Worth Savoring

Discover Chile's Beloved Barros Jarpa: The Ultimate Ham and Mantecoso Cheese Sandwich

When it comes to sandwiches, the Barros Jarpa is a hidden gem that deserves its moment in the spotlight. This Chilean delight, named after a prominent politician and diplomat, is a testament to the beauty of simplicity. Let’s dive into the world of this sandwich and discover why it’s worth adding to your culinary repertoire.

A Brief History of the Barros Jarpa

The Barros Jarpa sandwich is named after Ernesto Barros Jarpa, a Chilean minister and diplomat who served in the early 20th century. Legend has it that Barros Jarpa, a regular at the “Confitería Torres” in Santiago, grew tired of waiting for his usual sandwich, the Barros Luco (steak and cheese), and requested something quicker to prepare. The result was a warm Ham and cheese sandwich that was named in his honor. The Barros Jarpa has since become a staple in Chilean cuisine, beloved for its simplicity and comfort-food appeal.

How to Make a Barros Jarpa

Creating a Barros Jarpa is a straightforward process, but as with any sandwich, the quality of the ingredients can make or break the final product. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:

  • 2 slices of fresh, soft bread (Chilean marraqueta if you can find it)
  • 2 slices of good-quality ham
  • 2 slices of mild, melty cheese (like mozzarella or gouda)
  • Butter for toasting

Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place the Ham and cheese between the slices, with the buttered sides facing out. Cook the sandwich in a skillet over medium heat until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Choosing the Best Ingredients

While the Barros Jarpa is a simple sandwich, the quality of the ingredients can elevate it to new heights. Opt for fresh, soft bread that will toast well and provide a nice contrast to the melted cheese and warm ham. The ham should be flavorful but not overpowering, and the cheese should be mild and melty. A good-quality mozzarella or gouda works well.

Food and Drink Pairings

The Barros Jarpa pairs well with a variety of foods and drinks. Try it with a side of Chilean-style salad (tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and a simple vinaigrette) for a refreshing contrast. For drinks, a Chilean red wine like a Carmenere or a cold lager beer complements the sandwich nicely.

The Flavor Profile

The Barros Jarpa is all about balance. The bread provides a soft, slightly crispy canvas for the warm, salty ham and the creamy, melted cheese. The result is a comforting, satisfying sandwich that’s perfect for a quick lunch or a late-night snack.


For more information on the Barros Jarpa and other Chilean sandwiches, check out these resources:


The Barros Jarpa may not be as well-known as some other sandwiches, but it’s a delicious, comforting option that’s worth trying. With its simple ingredients and easy preparation, it’s a testament to the idea that sometimes, less really is more. So next time you’re in the mood for a sandwich, why not give the Barros Jarpa a try? You might just find your new favorite.

And remember, as my dad always says, “Life is like a sandwich – the more you add to it, the better it becomes!”

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