Pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomato) is one of the more beloved meals in Catalonia. It is for everybody, all social classes, and always welcome. We are never lazy about preparing some and where we are not in our country is what we are missing the most.
Involving the pa amb tomàquet, I have noticed that there are two big mysteries yet unresolved:
1. What is the perfect pa amb tomàquet?
2. Why has no one copied it yet? Why are they not offering it in China o the EEUU?
I'm totally obsessed about the second mystery. I think it's really weird that a plate which is the symbol of a country, that is made nearly every day, that is loved like a son and necessary in every meal, hasn't trespassed the frontiers of the Catalan language. You can buy sangria, tapas and paella everywhere in the world, but the pa amb tomàquet remains unknown.
About the perfect pa amb tomàquet... This is a hard subject. If you want two Catalans to start a fight, ask them about how they prepare it and which way is better. Anyway, as we are in a confidential atmosphere, I'm going to tell you my perfect way of making it. You have to consider the following ingredients:
Tomato: It has to be, as we call it here, "de penjar" (vine tomato). This is because this kind of tomato is really soft, with a lot of juice and a hard skin. You can really take profit of it, just spread it all over the bread, until you finish with only the skin in your hands.
Bread: For me the perfect one is with "pa de pagés" (could be translated like "peasant bread"). Just toast it a little bit (not with the toaster please, use a pan). And if you want pa amb tomàquet gourmet you should use "pa de vidre", I have discovered it lately and it's just delicious.
Oil: You should spread it on the bread, after the tomato (always after the tomato, even though some people would disagree...). If you want to follow the gourmet style use good olive oil, yes, the f**ing expensive one, it's called extra-virgin.
Salt: There is also a small debate about if you should put the salt before or after the oil, I personally think it doesn't mind, it tastes great anyway.
Garlic: That is totally optional. If you like the taste of garlic spread it on the bread before the tomato.
Extras: It can be great accompannied with some good "jamón", "fuet", cheese or a simple omelette. I suggest to make your sandwiches with pa amb tomàquet form now on, they are much more tasty, it makes the difference.
For more information: If you want to surprise your friends and family with more traditional cuisine plates, keep following the blog for upcoming posts, and if you haven't enough with that, check out our brand new cooking classes.