Do you know the origin of the pitofo breakfast sandwich in Malaga?

Do you know the origin of the pitofo breakfast sandwich in Malaga?

Given the title, many readers will not know what this article is about and there are probably Dutch and Belgians living in Malaga and the surrounding area who have heard of it, but don't know exactly what it is. Therefore, a brief explanation of the phenomenon of “pitofo” in bars in Málaga, the typical breakfast for Malaguños.

The word “Betovo” literally means “Smurfs”, those little men and women with white hats. However, in the city of Malaga, the word petofo has also acquired another meaning, which is a small, delicious sandwich that is mainly eaten at breakfast in the bar.

This phrase is often heard in bars: “Give me a mixed Smurf and a half.” Then the waiter shouts: “march!”. So what a bar visitor orders is a small sandwich with ham and melted cheese, then cut in half. Although everyone thinks that pitofo has been around for hundreds of years, this is not the case, and this tradition has only been around for 35 years.

In 1964, baker Matteo Lucchi decided to make a small roll for children as at the time there were only larger rolls. Additionally, the baker wanted this smaller roll to be more tender, so it would be easier to eat for breakfast. This sandwich became known as the “Boleto di Vienna” or the small version of the larger “Vienna” sandwich.

The name Petofo came about by chance in 1983 when the Spanish television TVE began broadcasting the famous Smurfs. Since the Smurfs were very popular with children, they decided to use this to promote bollitos de viena as mini sandwiches, and after that the name Petofo was quickly attached to the mini sandwich. This spread from children to adults who also started ordering pitofu in bars.

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Other bakers imitated the original baker's rolls and so pitofo became more popular and became a morning ritual for many Malaga residents. The original pitofo available in bars consists of small rolls, smoked ham (jamon york in Spanish) and melted cheese. The sandwich is usually cut in half, but this is not necessary. In addition, there are now many variations that can be found in bars in Malaga.

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