Thursday, 20 February 2014

Catalan pa amb tomàquet

I overheard once such a comment: ''In most places in which pan con tomate is served, they have no clue how to prepare it''. It caused that every time I ate this bread in a tapas bar or a restaurant I was wondering whether or not this one is the properly prepared:). So, I started to look for information on the true Catalan pa amb tomàquet. Since then, I know one thing for sure: this is not a slice of bread smeared with grated tomato mixed with olive oil and salt!. The authentic pan con tomate is prepared by rubbing a slice of bread with ripe tomato, cut in half - ideally if it's tomato called tomate de colgar/tomàquet de penjar. In old times, these particular tomatoes came from the summer harvest and were subsequently eaten during the rest of the year. Normally, the tomatoes were attached to a string and hung in places such as attic, where very slowly were becoming ripe. A characteristic of these tomatoes is that the pulp is very soft, juicy and easily moves away from the skin, therefore, after the tomato is rubbed into bread what remains is only its skin. Pan con tomate is prepared from fresh bread, or slices of bread toasted in the oven, toaster, or on a grill, and it is mostly bread called pan rústico / pa de pagès. Often, but not always, the first step is to rub the bread with garlic clove cut in half. Then the tomato is rubbed into it and finally the bread is drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Pa smb tomàquet can be eaten just plain, without any additives, or with serrano ham, chorizo sausage, or with a variety of cheeses. The key to the perfect taste of pan con tomate are undoubtedly good quality ingredients: crispy bread, very ripe and juicy tomatoes and good quality olive oil.


2 slices of bread
1 ripe and juicy tomato
1 garlic clove
olive oil


Toast the slices of bread in an oven or in a toaster. Rub them with garlic cut in half. 

Cut the tomato in half and rub it into the bread, trying to leave on it all its pulp. 

Next, drizzle the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Eat immediately, so that the bread does not soften up. 

Enjoy !!!

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