pan con tomate

The Spanish /Catalans are all proud of their "pan con tomate".. Slices of bread with squished tomatoes and a bit of salt and olive oil. The bread is typically Spanish, I mean Catalan, I mean bad... the worst baguettes ever are from Barcelona. Basically there´s not a single place with decent bread in this city. On the other hand, there´s cocaine and hashish everywhere.. Like a Brasilian friend usually says - que l├ęgau!

Pan con tomate is a Catalan invention, at least according to some old ladies in the market and an old, fat, drunk waiter from the dirtiest taverna ever (remember Rui?). It became popular during the civil war, when tomatoes and old bread were kings..

We went into the Catalan history museum one of these days, Sunday of course - free.. Apparently there was a significant amount of Italian troops around here during the civil war, and the exhibit made its impression on me : pan con tomate = a bad imitation of Italian bruschetta.

Culture+ museum+ Catalan history+Italian troops = pan con tomate!

Some places use very cheap oil instead of olive oil, in the best Spanish attitude they try to shit you, and this very basic food becomes really bad. I guess you can figure out how and why.

But, sincerely, I like this pan con tomate, it can be really good, simple, healthy and tasteful stuff.
Here´s my own version of this joy of Spanish cuisine..

Grab some tomatoes, not the green ones, cut them in pieces, add onion and garlic. Make sure you balance the strong flavour of garlic and onion with the tomatoes, the star of the show. Get your powerful €80 mixer (I got mine for €17 in a Chinese store, cheap, not pretty, but with 3 speeds and a bunch of accessories it makes me proud, so dont make funny about it) and use it to smash all the ingredients till you have a chunky liquid, drain it a bit if it´s too watery.

Add a pinch of dried oregano and a bit of olive oil and white wine vinegar to taste. Refridgerate for at least half an hour! Cold makes the taste more refreshing... there are somethings that Catalans just havn´t figured out, but you can´t expect so much from them.. (FIGO!! FIGO!! as a private joke)

While you get some toasts ready(if you can grill them even better) slice some fresh basil.

Spread the tomato on top of your toasts and add the basil for color and aroma.

Slice some cheese, some fuet (hard sausage), plate them, grab a tray, place everything on it, bring the wine, sit outside, watch the sunshine, feel the breeze, the flavours, kiss her, enjoy and have fun.

Quick note - if you're a lucky person and can grill the bread, peel some garlic and raspe it gently on the bread when it is still warm and the don´t use garlic in the tomato paste. It makes a difference, you´ll see.

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_con_tomate