Bruschetta
Bruschetta topped with a tomato salad, caramelized balsamic vinegar and Grana Padano cheese
CourseAntipasto
Place of originItaly
Serving temperatureCold dish
Main ingredientsBread, garlic, olive oil
VariationsTomato, vegetables, beans, cured meat, cheese

Bruschetta (/brˈskɛtə/,[1] /brˈʃɛtə/,[2] Italian: [bruˈsketta] ) is an Italian antipasto (starter dish) consisting of grilled bread often topped with olive oil and salt. Most commonly it's served with toppings of tomato, vegetables, beans, cured meat, and/or cheese. In Italy, bruschetta is often prepared using a brustolina grill.

Types

A popular dish is bruschetta with tomatoes; one recipe popular outside Italy involves basil, fresh tomato, garlic and onion or mozzarella. Bruschetta is usually served as a snack or appetizer. In some countries, the prepared topping is marketed as bruschetta.[3]

In the Abruzzo region of Italy, a variation of bruschetta made with a salame called ventricina is served. Raw pork products and spices encased in pig bladder are aged and the paste spread on open slices of bread which are sometimes grilled.[4] The dish was developed as a way of salvaging bread that was going stale.[5]

According to the International Culinary Center, the term bruschetta is sometimes used interchangeably with crostini and the Tuscan dish fettunta.[6] In Tuscany, fettunta is usually served without toppings, especially in November, to taste the first oil of the season.[7]

History

Bruschetta was first documented in English by Elizabeth David in 1954.[8] David observed in Italian Food that "bruschetta are eaten with the newly made oil" in the olive oil-producing districts of Tuscany and Umbria.[9]

Waverley Root and Marcella Hazan trace the origins of bruschetta to ancient Rome. According to Root, ancient Romans called bruschetta clustrum or crustulum. An inscription found in the Sabine city of Cures documents that clustrum was distributed to people together with mulsum on important holidays like Saturnalia.[10]: 103  Hazan states that bruschetta's origins are "probably nearly as old as that of olive oil itself". In ancient Rome, the first taste of olive oil was "likely an oil-soaked piece of bread that may or may not have been rubbed with garlic". In modern times, bruschetta was a staple of the trattoria that made up "for the frugality of the fare". Over time, the dish gained popularity and made its way into the cuisines of higher social classes.[11]

The International Culinary Center dates bruschetta to the Middle Ages, when toppings were served on bread instead of plates.[6]

Etymology

The noun bruschetta (plural bruschette) comes from the Romanesco dialect verb bruscare, the equivalent of the Italian word abbrustolire which means 'to toast', or 'to roast over coals'.[12]

Waverley Root noted in 1971 that bruschetto was the Roman term for the dish, with other Italians referring to it as schiena d'asino (ass's back).[10]: 91 

In the United States, the word is sometimes used to refer to a prepared topping, sold in jars and usually tomato-based, instead of the bread, a sense which is unknown in Italian.[13]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "bruschetta". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  2. ^ "bruschetta". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
  3. ^ "Bruschetta Trio". Oil and Vinegar company website. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  4. ^ "bruschetta". Hannah International Foods. 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-02-27. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  5. ^ Mariani, John (1998). The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink. New York: Broadway Books. p. 45. ISBN 0767901290.
  6. ^ a b International Culinary Center (2012). "Antipasti". The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Italian Cuisine. Stewart, Tabori & Chang. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-58479-990-0.
  7. ^ "Fettunta Toasted bread with olive oil". Archived from the original on 9 May 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  8. ^ Butterfield, Jeremy, ed. (2016). "bruschetta". Fowler's Concise Dictionary of Modern English Usage (3 ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-19-966631-7.
  9. ^ David, Elizabeth (1989). "Eggs, cheese dishes, pizze, etc.". Italian Food. Penguin Books. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-140-27327-4.
  10. ^ a b Root, Waverley (1977). "III. Lazio". The Food of Italy. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-394-72429-1.
  11. ^ Hazan, Marcella (1976). "Antipasti". The Classic Italian Cookbook. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 49. ISBN 0-394-40510-2.
  12. ^ Ayto, John (2003). An A to Z of Food and Drink. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 44. ISBN 0192803514.
  13. ^ Hartz-Seeley, Deborah S (August 21, 2008). "The Toast Of Italy: Bruschetta South Florida Chefs Put Their Own Spin on Traditional Dish". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. p. E7. Archived from the original on 2018-01-24.