The Catalan bread with tomato, a gastronomic delight of Barcelona.
Catalan gastronomy has a great variety of delicacies that have been exported to the entire Spanish territory: calçots (a food similar to chives that are eaten with a “romesco” sauce), escalivada, patatas bravas. But there is one that stands out from the rest: the Catalan bread with tomato.
We have to point something out: the word “pan tumaca” does not exist in the dictionary, it is a Castilianization of the Catalan term “pa amb tomàquet”, that is to say, “bread with tomato”. Due to the pronunciation of this term, in the end, in Spanish, the term “bread tumaca” has been popularly used, which is NOT accepted into the language but is, nevertheless, very common in bars and restaurants throughout the country.
In today’s Barcelona City Tellers article, we will talk about the Catalan tumaca bread, a delicious recipe used for both breakfast and also to accompany any other meal at dinner time. Delicious!
What Pan Tumaca mean
As have been stated, it is important that to know that “Pan Tumaca” is a word that DOES NOT EXIST in Catalan. It is a phonetic adaptation of the combination of three words in Catalan “pa amb tomàquet”, i.e. “bread with tomato”.
Therefore, the word “pan tumaca” refers to the tradition in Catalan cuisine of spreading ripe tomatoes on bread, to enjoy delicious toasts, more tasty sandwiches, or simply a healthy snack.
How to Make Homemade Tumaca Bread
“Pan Tumaca” is not only based on scrubbing a little tomato on the bread but nowadays this meal can be made in various ways and with very interesting variants. However, in Barcelona City Tellers, we want you to know the most authentic gastronomic tradition and, therefore, we will give you the traditional recipe of “pa amb tomàquet”, which you can prepare easily at home.
In order to prepare the “Pan Tumaca”, you will need these ingredients (for 2 people):
- Bread of peas (2 or 4 pieces)
- 3 ripe tomatoes to spread on the bread (small and very ripe)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves (optional)
The first thing you have to do is to gather all the ingredients to prepare the “tumaca bread”. Once you have them ready, you will have to cut the tomatoes in half and spread them on the bread of peas, make sure that it is well scrubbed because the objective is that the bread is moistened and bathed from top to bottom. If you want a more intense flavor, you can scrub the two parts of the tomato with the bread.
Next, you will have to cut the clove of garlic and gently rub it on the bread. This step is optional and is only intended for those who like the intense taste of garlic. Do not overdo the time to sprinkle the garlic because it could be too strong, with a pass up and down you will have more than enough.
Now you will have to pour a splash of olive oil on your slice of bread. Make sure the oil is good so you can get this Pan Tumaca meal to be delicious.
Once ready, you just need to throw a pinch of salt to finish the preparation of this so typically Catalan meal. That’s it!
What to accompany the tumaca bread with
You may be wondering at what time of the day you can eat tumaca bread. Keep in mind that this recipe is intended for any time of the day but, above all, traditionally it was meant for being the first meal in the morning, accompanied with Catalan sausage that was eaten in the old towns: secallona, “bull”, “Llonganiça “, etcetera.
Thus, a good time to eat Pan Tumaca is during breakfast. You can prepare some toasts with this recipe and eat them alone or, as is traditional in Catalonia, take them as an accompaniment to some sausage, no matter which one you choose, whether cheese, sweet ham, or chorizo; for the Catalans, any sausage is better if taken with bread with tomato.
Also, the tumaca bread is usually eaten at lunch or dinner time. The bread toasts are usually given in traditional Catalan restaurants before each meal, along with bread of peas, the traditional garlic, tomato, salt, and oil so that each person can prepare their own “Pan Tumaca”. Thus, it is eaten, before each meal, as an appetizer, as well as to accompany the dishes that are taken during lunch, just like when people eat regular white bread.
Discover the delicious gastronomy of Barcelona!
The “Pan Tumaca” is just one of the gastronomic delights of Catalonia but there are many more recipes! Other meals known are, for example, escalivada or esqueixada, all this from our Spanish cuisine and also the traditional Mediterranean cuisine.
If you want to enjoy the wide variety of Catalan gastronomy, in Barcelona City Tellers we have the Tapas Tour, a guided tour throughout the city in which you will visit three bars and traditional restaurants in Barcelona downtown so that you can know the great cuisine variety present in Catalonia.
In this tour, we focus, above all, on trying different traditional and innovative tapas because Barcelona is a city of contrasts where the old coexists with the modern in a completely harmonic way. In this tour, you will also be able to taste wines from the region as well as the traditional Catalan “cava”, a drink similar to the French champagne but elaborated in its own way.
This guided tour through the gastronomy of Barcelona begins in Catalunya Square, from there, we will approach different gastronomic spaces in the Gothic, that is to say, in full Ciutat Vella, the old side of Barcelona.
Discover the wide variety of flavors, textures and gastronomic combinations that exist in Barcelona with our Tapas Tour, a unique opportunity to get to know dishes like the tumaca bread and much more!