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. If you want to know more about different options you’ll have for breakfast in Spain, check out this quick guide to breakfast in Spain. Even before looking at that page, we can tell you that a tostada de tomate is probably the most characteristically Spanish breakfast there is! However, you might find that you haven’t been eating this classic Spanish tostada like the Spaniards do.
Now, don’t immediately panic! We have also been in the place where we thought that our tostadas de tomate were ready to be consumed when it was placed in front of us in any local cafetería. Over time, however, you learn that there is a very serious ritual when it comes to preparing your tostada de tomate for optimal enjoyment. Here are the details…
1.) The tomato: Depending on the café you eat breakfast at, your toast will either come with pureed tomato already spread onto the bread or it will come in a little dish on the side. If served on the side, you will want to go ahead and spoon it all onto the toast.
2.) The fork: In most places you will find that the place you are eating at will give you a fork (or knife) along with your tostada. 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. If you are served the toast with the tomato on the side, we recommend poking the holes (and maybe even adding a little bit of olive oil) before you put the tomato on top because this will allow the juices to flow into the bread.
3.) The salt: You will probably also find that there is olive oil and salt left on all 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 to get a truly Spanish experience. We recommend adding a pinch of salt to your tostada to bring out the flavors of the tomato and olive oil.
4.) The olive oil: Finally, to finish off your tostada, we highly recommend you pour some olive oil generously over the salt, tomato, and bread allowing it to carry the mixture of flavors through the holes mentioned before. You might be surprised at first but many Spaniards will add enough oil so that their tostada is dripping. Luckily, olive oil is fresh, flavorful, and delicious in Spain, not to mention healthy! (Find more about Spanish olive oil here.)
And voila! Your tostada de tomate is now Spanish-level ready for devouring!
If you are missing this classic Spanish breakfast and you are not in a place that serves (aka, anywhere outside of Spain), you can make your own by following the simple steps shown in the video below.
Grate the tomatoes either with a mandolin or cheese grater. In the video Claudia adds some salt and olive oil directly to the tomatoes to give them a bit more flavor (she is living in Finland, after all).
Toast your bread.
Stab your bread lightly with a fork.
Add some olive oil, your tomato, and top with salt.
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!