Sunday, February 26, 2006

Bruschetta – The One The Traditional

Bruschetta is the perfect appetizer. Five minutes to prepare and the ingredients are usually on hand, stale bread, olive oil, salt (in some areas pepper) and fresh garlic. It is an expression of simplicity yet this savory munchie is perfect with before dinner drinks, wine or just to close that hole in the stomach before dinner. Today there are numerous variations of Bruschetta and it would be a sacrilege to talk about Tuscany without at least a mention to the one, the original Bruschetta.

Originally Bruschetta was intended to use the left over bread. Tuscany bread has two primary characteristics, the first it has no salt and secondly it is only water and flour so it dries out relatively quickly. The early inhabitants of Tuscany found that if they put some olive oil on the bread and toasted it on the fire the bread would come back to life. The next step was flavor, bread, in itself is a great carbohydrate but a little salt and a lot of garlic made Bruschetta not only nutrient but also savory. A meal unto itself, when you did not have an exuberance of food.

Bruschetta is so important in the culture of Tuscany that there are several fairs celebrating wine and Bruschetta. The most important is in Panicale during the third week in November and includes a museum, an all day celebration with a market and a guided tasting tour among the numerous participants in the fair. Oh, yes there is also new wine and olive oil.

Ingredients

10-12 slices of Pane Toscano
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
2 cloves of Garlic

Preparation

Toast the slices of bread in the oven or over the coals. Spread the olive oil, salt and pepper evenly over one side. Rub the garlic directly on the toasted bread.

After this base you can add just about anything edible.

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14 Comments:

Anonymous Mona said...

What tomatoes do you perfer on bruschetta? I love the Pineapple and other meaty ones.

6:18 PM

 
Blogger Travel Italy said...

Mona - In the States I use the Roma tomatoes or tomatoes that I grow at home. They have more meat and hold up better.

I really enjoy your site: macaby photo's blog"

6:26 PM

 
Blogger ChickyBabe said...

One of my favourites... easy to make at home and found in many restaurants!

And I should not visit your blog when I'm hungry! :)

6:44 PM

 
Blogger Travel Italy said...

Chickybabe

Sei forte! Sorry it does not translate into english very well but I always appreciate your comments.

6:47 PM

 
Anonymous Amanda said...

I absolutely adore bruschette. I usually chop some cherry tomatoes with some basil, olive oil and salt - buonissimo.

10:04 AM

 
Blogger Travel Italy said...

Amanda - During the summer we prepare bruschetta with homegrown genova basil and tomatoes. If you have a pepper grinder try opening up the grind a bit so you get shaves instead of powder then on top of the basil and tomatoes grind some pepper. Stick in the oven for about 2 minutes. It is pretty incredible.

10:08 AM

 
Anonymous Mona said...

Thanks for all your tips. I would really like to revisit Italy soon.

3:41 PM

 
Blogger Travel Italy said...

Tickets are relatively inexpensive now as are hotels. Sounds like a good time to me!!!

3:42 PM

 
Blogger Stefanio said...

Everytime I looked at your site I get hunger pangs!

1:46 AM

 
Anonymous Amanda said...

I shall certainly give that a go. My family have a house in Liguria where I go in the summer and the basil there is incredible and the pesto is to die for - none of that rubbish you get in jars.

4:31 AM

 
Blogger Travel Italy said...

Stefanio I always get a kick out of your humorous site.
I apoligize before hand: Easter is coming soon, Agnello, Colomba, et al. are only a keyboard stroke away!

4:43 AM

 
Blogger Travel Italy said...

Amanda - you are extremely fortunate. Liguria is one of the best all round places in Italy, the weather is great, the sea breeze vitalizes the vegetation, and the views are unique! Even for Italy this is an above average area.

4:45 AM

 
Blogger utenzi said...

Bruchetta can be so heavenly but I must admit I like the more elaborate versions to the original. There's just something about the taste of basil, garlic and tomatoes....

7:55 AM

 
Blogger Travel Italy said...

I agree entirely. Even here in Dallas Raffaella and I prepare our before dinner snack with oil, garlic, fresh tomatoes slices paper thin, basil, salt and pepper. Together with a glass of wine it is heavenly.

8:06 AM

 

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