Do you want to try the best paninis in town? Yes, what we know here as a sandwich, others as a Caribbean arepa or simply a sandwich has its 100% Italian version in Barcelona. Here, the panino or panini (if in plural) is enjoyed as it should be in the Paninería Compà, specifically in the neighbourhood of La Barceloneta (C/ Sant Carles, 19 08003 Barcelona).
And who delights us with such a delicious and authentic sandwich? Well, the man in charge of Paninería Compà is Vittorio, an Italian who has been living in Barcelona for 20 years, although he has only been running this charcuterie from Calabria, a region in the south-east of Italy, Calabria, for the last two years.
Compà Bakery, the best quality at reasonable prices
If you haven’t been to Italy, we can tell you that the common denominator is that in their delis they have bread to prepare their famous paninos or panini right there. This means that this is no ordinary restaurant, but Compà is a delicatessen where you can eat very well.
Vittorio prepares his paninis with an artisan focaccia, adding the best Calabrian produce. You should know that, in addition, most of his products are brought directly from his home town: Castrovillari.
If you want our recommendation, the porchetta with potatoes and provola is simply amazing. But the Paterno and the Sanizzo also left us speechless.
On the other hand, their prices range between 7 and 9 euros, excellent values considering that they are of a very generous size and of superb quality. In addition, you can also accompany your panino with an Italian beer, soft drinks from the Mediterranean country and finish with a tiramisu prepared by Vittorio himself.
Be warned that all these wonders can be found in a place of just a few square metres. And if you haven’t been there yet, as soon as you do, this will surely become one of your favourite places in Barcelona.
A product that has travelled around the world
It never hurts to know a bit of history, in this case about the panino, which appeared in a 16th century Italian cookbook, that’s right, this is not a new sandwich or anything like that. They later became popular in the bars of Milan between 1970 and 1980, where they were known as paninoteche (paninotecas).
Panino in Italian means ‘small bread roll’. And in the 1970s, the most popular American restaurants – especially those in New York – began to offer on their menus the paninis that we know today in most countries, that product filled with salami, ham, mortadella and vegetables or, as the most original ones, prepared with prosciutto and some slices of the best cheese.
However, the key is not only in the quality of the filling, but also in the bread, which should be ciabatta or focaccia to make it much more authentic.