Pa amb Tomàquet

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

pa amb tomàquet is a celebrated Catalan snack (see spain). So celebrated, indeed, that it has its own literature, for example, Pomés (1985), Graves (2000), and Fàbrega (2001).

Pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomato) is evidently related to the Majorcan pa amb oli (bread with oil). Indeed, the Catalan version should perhaps defer to the Balearic, for while bread and olive oil are timeless, tomato is a Johnny-come-lately.

A slice of bread (which may be toasted) is rubbed with garlic, irrigated with olive oil, and seasoned with salt. Sugar may be used if the oil is especially acid, or if the slice is destined for a child. Thereafter, for the full pa amb tomàquet (which in Majorca means it’s pa amb oli i tomàtiga) a tomato is rubbed over the slice. The order in which these ingredients are applied varies according to taste, most commonly garlic and tomato come first. It may be consumed on its own, or with any number of savoury (and sometimes even sweet, if a child is the consumer) accompaniments. The preferred tomato in Majorca is a vine tomato (tomàtiga de penjar or hanging tomatoes) often the variety tomàtiga de ramellet: hanging in the storehouse, it keeps well and is less sweet than many.