How to: Properly Prepare a Tostada de Tomate

 Did you know there's a whole process you're meant to go through before biting into your  tostada de tomate?  Don't worry―we've got you covered!

Did you know there's a whole process you're meant to go through before biting into your tostada de tomate? Don't worry―we've got you covered!

Dear Debbie,

If you’ve spent any time in Spain, you’ve probably already figured out that the tostada de tomate, or “tomato toast,” is the go-to Spanish breakfast. Like millions around world, Spaniards will also start their day with a cup of coffee, cereal, and/or other varieties of breakfast options (read more about that here). However, this is the most characteristically Spanish tostada there is and if you’ve been ordering and eating it the way it arrives at your table, you’re doing it wrong!

Now, don’t immediately panic! I, too, was once the guiri that thought my tostada de tomate was ready to be consumed when it was placed in front of me. However, from careful observation, I have come to discover that there is a very serious ritual when it comes to preparing your tostada de tomate for optimal enjoyment. Here are the details…

 

 

1.) Depending on the café you eat breakfast at, your toast will either come with pureed tomate already spread onto the bread or it will come in a little dish on the side. If served on the side, you obviously want to go ahead and spoon it all onto the toast.

Side-Note: You can also prepare this tostada at home with minimal effort, simply grate a fresh tomato using a mandolin slicer (that cheese-grater-looking tool you've probably got stocked in your Spanish kitchen) and you're good to go!

2.) There is actually a reason that they serve it to you with a fork on the plate and it’s not for eating! The fork is supplied so that you can puncture holes into the bread in order for the olive oil to properly trickle through it all.

3.) Have you ever noticed how olive oil and salt are the only seasonings left on the tables in many cafés in Spain? Tostadas de tomate are one of the big reasons why! Be sure to add both before enjoying your breakfast. I personally start with the salt.

4.) Finally, pour some olive oil generously over the salt, tomato, and bread allowing it to carry the mixture of flavors through the holes mentioned before. (And when I say generously, I do mean generously―many Spaniards I see will literally have their tostada dripping in oil. It’s fresh, flavorful, and delicious in Spain, don’t underestimate the power of some good old aceite de oliva!)

And voila! Your tostada de tomate is now Spanish-level ready for devouring!

Are there any other Spanish food basics you’ve been wondering about (but maybe too nervous to ask)? There’s no such thing as a silly question―drop us a comment!


Sincerely,
Spain