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Pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomato)

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Pa amb tomàquet (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈpam tuˈmakət], literally in English: 'Bread with tomato') or pa amb oli (Majorcan: [ˌpəmˈbɔɫi], literally in English: 'Bread with olive oil') is a simple and typical recipe in Catalonia, Majorca, the Land of Valencia and in some other places that were at some point under the domain of the Crown of Aragon, such as Italy.

Pa amb tomàquet or pa amb oli consists of bread — optionally toasted — with tomato rubbed over and seasoned with olive oil and salt. Sometimes garlic is rubbed on the bread before rubbing in the tomato. In many Catalan restaurants, the tomato mixture is pre-made and is brushed on the bread. The dish is served accompanied with any sorts of sausages (cured botifarres, xoriço, fuet, etc.), ham, cheeses, anchovies or other marinated fish, or grilled vegetables like escalivada.

In Majorca, pa amb oli is prepeared with tomato called Tomàtiga de Ramellet, which is a specifical variety of tomatoes on the vine, smaller and with a little bit more intense and sourer taste than normal tomatoes.

If the mixture is not premade, there is said to be an ideal order in which the ingredients are integrated to yield the best flavour. First, the garlic is rubbed on the bread. Then the same is done with the tomato. Next comes the salt, and lastly the olive oil. The traditional way to get all the flavours mixed well without having to premake a sauce, is to cut off the heel of a baguette and use it to gently but firmly press all of the ingredients together.


The origin of this dish is disputed, as tomato is relatively new to Catalan cuisine (it came from America only after the 15th century). Widely regarded as the epitome of Catalan cuisine and identity, some sources claim it is actually a relatively recent (mid to late 19th century) in all the Mediterranean coast of Spain.

The dish shares some similarities with the tomato and olive oil rubbed Ħobż biz-Zejt sandwich of the island of Malta, with the Pan-bagnat of Nice, in the Provence region of France and the tomato topped version of Italian bruschetta. All these territories were part of the Crown of Aragon.

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Pa amb Tomàquet,

Pa Amb Tomaquet,