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.
10-12 slices of Pane Toscano
2 cloves of Garlic
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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