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Here for over 25 years and I still discover new things every day...

'Pan con Tomate' needs a special tomato
Friday, March 24, 2023 @ 11:12 AM

Across Spain, but particularly in Catalonia, meals often include a simple dish of just four ingredients—bread, oil, salt, tomatoes. To prepare pan con tomate or, in Catalan, pa amb tomàquet, you grate garlic along the rough surface of a piece of slightly toasted bread, drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil, and then rub half a tomato over the bread. The fruit’s flesh soaks into the bread, creating a simple but delicious treat.

In this recipe, the tomato is the crucial ingredient. Pa amb tomàquet should be made with particular tomatoes called tomaquets de penjar, or hanging tomatoes, a variety that, when strung properly into bunches, can keep fresh for up to six months after being harvested. Which means that tomato season (and pan con tomate season) lasts long beyond summer: Harvest these tomatoes in September, and you can still eat fresh tomatoes in March.



Hanging tomatoes have special qualities that make them ideal for both preservation and spreading on toast. They’re extra juicy, so much so that they make poor slicing tomatoes. They also have thick skin, which helps protect the interior over those long months. If you slice one open and squeeze, the liquid easily spreads over bread. The hanging tomatoes grown in Alcalà de Xivert are particularly well known, and the area’s growers’ association protects and markets this particular tomato variety.

To survive for months, hanging tomatoes have to be stored in a special way. After the harvest, farmers sew them into clusters of 15 to 30 tomatoes. Ideally, no tomato should touch any other; if they’re packed too tightly, they can rot. This method isn’t perfect, but it’s successful enough to ensure access to fresh, juicy tomatoes and perfect pan con tomate almost year round.

Like 4


Jo said:
Saturday, March 25, 2023 @ 12:24 PM


lenox said:
Saturday, March 25, 2023 @ 8:57 PM

Down here in Almería City, I eat a 'tostada con tomate' every morning. The tomato is grated and sloshed onto a 'barra de pan' that's been toasted. Olive oil, pepper and salt.
Some people put jamón or atún or queso on top - in the fancy places, maybe even aguacate.
Anyway - my 'media con tomate' with a 'caña de café con leche' is between 2,00€ and 2,40€.

mac75 said:
Friday, March 31, 2023 @ 6:13 PM

When you see 'tostada', I assume, it is always in the morning for breakfast. Pan con Tomate, would be the general term for any time of day - the bread is always toasted. For example, at a restaurant for lunch or dinner they wouldn't use the word 'tostada', they would say 'pan'.

Thanks for reading!

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