100% bueno. (SPANISH MEATS + TOMATO BREAD)December 23, 2012
I need to share this photo. It is the most exquisite plate of cured meats eaten in one of Barcelona’s cute little xampanyerias. We sampled the house cava, meats and cheeses accompanied by lots of the tomato bread pa amb tomaquet found all over the place in Catalonia. Cured meats are a big deal in Spain, so we did our best to really treat them like the special deal that they are, eating them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night snack. It was the perfect thing to obsess over because eating a plate of charcuterie left some room so that we could stop short at any other good looking tapas we saw along the way to wherever we were going… which was usually to eat tapas.
Starting with the top right you are looking at chorizo, moving clockwise next is lomo, which is made from the loin of the pig and is therefore significantly leaner than the others but no less delicious. Lomo is followed by traditional Iberico (swoon), then salami-like salchichon, and in the center is cecina or ‘dried’ beef which was knockout.
Variations of these meats are available in the States but it’s just not the same. Sure when you are eating something local in a foreign place, it is the atmosphere and the sounds, the smell of the fabric softener, the sky color and all the other details that amplify the experience but I have a theory about a number of delicious European foodstuffs that are also exported to the U.S. and it is simply… they send us the good stuff but not the best. This is why I have my own personal French calvados dealers.
Be real Spanish and serve this bread with your next meat and/or cheese platter.
PA AMB TOMAQUET
1 loaf of your favorite bread
2 cloves garlic
2 ripe tomatoes
your best olive oil
- Slice the bread lengthwise and toast it lightly (optional).
- Slice each clove of garlic in half and rub it on the cut side of the bread.
- Slice each tomato through its equator and rub each half all over the bread until it is just skin.
- Arrange the bread on a platter and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.