Careful what you say

17 May

The other day I asked for a pan tumaca for breakfast and was met with an insolent stare by the short, half-bald elderly Spanish barista.

“Pan tumaca is catalan, here in Madrid we have pan con tomate (bread with tomato).”

“Pan con tomate, then.”

A quick lesson it was to me on the regionalism of Spain.

Though, of course, the guy wasn’t bad-natured, and as I went on to explain to my friend what he was saying to me he smiled and laughed and said that it wasn’t a big deal, just a common error that for some reason had spread far around the world.


Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Food, Madrid, Politics, Spain


2 responses to “Careful what you say

  1. Karen

    May 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    People from Madrid keep surprising me; their pride of their city and hatred for the Catalans know no boundaries. I’ve heard the “pan tumaca” is originally from Cataluña, but the expression is definitely used all over the country and in some regions it’s more common than “pan con tomate”…

    • Dan Bablinskas

      May 24, 2011 at 8:17 am

      That was the first time I’d heard of that. A lot of people really dislike anything Catalan or Basque and refuse to visit those parts because of their independence movements.


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