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Italian bruschetta sandwiches

Bruschetta, or Italian open sandwich, is a piece of rustic white toasted bread, grated with garlic, soaked in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.

Often it is supplemented with fresh vegetables, cheese, meat, ham. It is unlikely that they will be able to visit the country and not try the world-famous antipasti. Bruschetta in Italy is often served as a standard complement to lunch or dinner.

The Italians pronounce the word bruschetta as “bruschetta” (with an emphasis on the letter “e” and the slightly outstretched letter “t”).
Where did the bruschetta come up
Some historians claim that the original bruschetta was first prepared in Umbria, in the province of Perugia. However, dried garlic bread is considered “their own” in all regions of Italy, where they produce “liquid gold” – olive oil. The Lazio and Tuscany regions also claim the right to be considered the birthplace of bruschetta.

However, historically, the cuisine of Umbria is the most “poor” and simplest, so it is easy to assume that the bread was dried there. In ancient times, in Italy, it was considered quite expensive and was prepared only a few times a month. The villagers could not afford to throw out a dried bun, but in order not to eat tasteless crackers, they came up with the idea to “refresh” its taste with garlic and oil.

How to cook and eat bruschetta in Italy
Bruschetta on a plate

Traditionally, Italian bruschetta is made from ciabatta, sliced ​​into thick slices. Then the bread is fried over an open fire without oil, after which they still rub hot slices with a large amount of garlic and pour over olive oil. Just before serving, they are sprinkled with coarse sea salt and black pepper, supplemented with various toppings. And this is the main thing that distinguishes a bruschetta from an ordinary sandwich.
But to understand the difference between crostini and bruschetta is much more difficult. The word crostini in Italian means “little toast.” This appetizer is also often made from ciabatta, but it is rarely rubbed with garlic. Bread is not dried, but immediately fried in olive or butter.

There is a difference in the fillings. For crostini, in Italy, pasty toppings are chosen that can be spread like paste. And on the brooketta, the filling is simply laid on top (most often, these are herbs, tomatoes, mozzarella). True, in Italian restaurants you can find bruschetta with truffles, fish and even sweets.

Tourists in Italy often have a question about how to eat etiquette bruschetta? Everything is very simple: you need to pick it up and bite off a little bit.
Do not order bruschetta for pasta. In Italian cuisine, an appetizer is usually served with wine, first courses, salads. An attempt to spread butter on bruschetta is considered bad form: antipasti is a “completed” dish. But to add a little salt and pepper to taste is not prohibited.

Where to try real Italian bruschetta
Fried lamb bruschetta

If you want to not only try the real Italian bruschetta, but also learn more about the history and nuances of its preparation, be sure to visit the capital of Italy. Every year at the end of October, the Bruschetta Festival is held in Rome. Within two days, the best chefs from all over the country treat guests with a traditional bruschetta, which is prepared with more than a hundred fillings. Admission to the festival is free.

The most “correct” bruschetta in Italy can be eaten in its unrecognized homeland – in the city of Spello in Umbria. The Spello’s Olive and Brushetta Festival is held annually on the third Sunday of February. In addition to the opportunity to taste the highest quality olive oil (local farmers do it the old fashioned way, without cutting-edge innovations) and delicious snacks, Spello offers its guests to admire the well-preserved ancient Roman buildings, arches and towers.

The festival itself in Italy is noisy and bright. On the main street of the city they sell fresh crispy bruschetta, generously sprinkled with cheese and herbs. Guests of the city are entertained by musicians and dancers. The highlight of the holiday is a parade of decorated farm tractors.

Those who arrive in Italy on the “non-festival” days should not despair. Bruschetta is prepared literally in every restaurant and cafe. And some hotels even have their own traditions associated with this appetizer.

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