Ham and Cheese - Jamon y Queso

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Ham and Cheese rolls or sandwiches are popular in most Western Countries around the world. Here in Tenerife, however, this simple snack goes much further and means more than it does anywhere else! To quote the Spanish ‘Jamon y Queso’, this is a snack that you will see represented in many different ways, by virtually all bars, cafes and small food and drink outlets on the island.

Usually sold in the form of a roll ‘Bocadillo or Bocata’ in Spanish, depending on the type of bread being used, or in a sandwich, wrap or croissant. There are, however, many different types of Jamon in Spain and your Jamon and Cheese snack will be presented in different ways, based on what type of Jamon you order. Sometimes, Jamon and Cheese is served as a ‘Tapa’ which will consist of individual slices of both Jamon and Queso with a bread roll served on the side. There is also the much acclaimed Spanish delicacy of cured Serrano Jamon, which goes very nicely with a few slices of your favourite cheese.

Just as there are many different types of Jamon, there are also many different types of Cheese or Queso in Tenerife. The most popular type of local cheese is goat’s cheese. If you are reading a menu in an establishment that has many different types of Jamon or Queso, this will usually be reflected there and you will be able to choose exactly what you want. Sometimes different cheeses are referred to as white or yellow cheeses. The local goats cheese is always white.

As this snack is so popular on the island, it also has another name! This is ‘mixto’, a Spanish word meaning mixed. So, if you wander into a local bar or café and ask for a bocadillo mixto or sandwich mixto, you will get a ham and cheese snack.

As the number of different Jamon and Queso combinations can be quite high and extremely diverse, this is a paradise for those that love this simple ham and cheese snack. Do experiment and you will find some wonderful combinations that aren’t found anywhere else!