Florence, Italy: What You Need to Know About Bruschetta & Crostini
For lovers of the Renaissance, the Medici, and passionate intrigue
Pronounced: brus' ketta...
Just about everyone likes bruschetta (even if they mispronounce it). The original bruschetta is a piece of toasted bread rubbed with a raw clove of garlic and then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Chopped tomatoes with (or without) basil came later. Here in Italy, there are several types of bruschetta or crostini, and they are perfect as an appetizer or snack. If you find yourself wandering near the Duomo, you may want to stop to try some of Antonella's bruschetta at Enoteca Alessi. Antonella uses fresh and sun-dried tomatoes along with chopped , minced garlic, capers, olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar- it's oh, so good. sweet red onion
Another traditional topping for bread is fegatino, which is chicken liver pâté (see photo). Sometimes, they include the hearts, finely minced. This delicacy is slow cooked and chock full of spices. If you haven't tried it yet, please do!
One of my all time favorites is robiola cheese on toasted bread, topped with an anchovy and red pepper jam (see photo). The contrast in textures and flavors is surprising and delicious. Here is another one to try: Spread Gorgonzola on bread and place in oven until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle with thinly sliced raw celery and drizzle with honey. Yum!
Olive pâté is also popular (both green and black) and it's a great alternative to meat pâté- especially if you are vegetarian.
'Nduja is a spicy sausage spread from Calabria and it is delicious eaten alone or topped with cheese (see photo). Completely full of deliciousness! So, the next time you are in Italy, give some of these a try. Better yet, make them in your own home and serve them to your friends and family. Let me know how it turns out and thanks for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist