Pan Con Tomate
One of the loveliest things about Spain was waking up late and strolling outside the apartment at 10 or 11am. There would be cafes at every corner and groups of old men or singles sitting and drinking their cafe con leche or orange juice with a little croissant or mini sandwiches.
This super simple but very traditional late breakfast is literally called “bread with tomato”. Outside cafes, you will read chalkboards promoting “cafe con leche y pan tostada con marmelada o tomate” for 3 euros or so. If you wanted the best ones, you better go to a bakery/cafe that bakes fresh bread.
Once you order it, you could hear them cutting into the crust from a few tables away. With a quick toast, they would spoon over some crushed tomato and bring it over with your cafe con leche. At each table there would be salt and the Spanish extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over your toast. It has to be the very best of the Mediterranean diet- fresh tomato, olive oil, and a good, seeded bread if you’re lucky. Sometimes you can add the beautiful Iberico ham so it becomes like an open-faced sandwich, but if you get good fresh tomatoes, it is so enjoyable just to have the mix of tomato and olive oil. The combination of the olive oil cuts the acidity of the tomato just enough to make it warmly coat the tongue.