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Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Bruschetta an Italian Bread Dish

Bruschetta originated in Italy’s Tuscany region, as it is known presently, is an Italian bread appetizer that is made with drizzled olive oil, rubbed with roasted garlic and topped with tomatoes. It became popular in American restaurants in the 1990’s and has sense retained its popularity.

Bruschetta is toasted brown on each side and then olive oil is generously poured over the bread. Garlic can be used but it is optional. The original cooking method was taken from the Italian verb, bruscare which means “roasted over coals.” Bread was not to be wasted and now you know what to do with bread that has gone stale and seemingly not to be used for anything else. Just add extra virgin olive oil and your prepared seasonings, or you can even dip the entire bread in a plate of olive oil. Further toppings, like chopped onions and tomatoes, have become increasingly popular in many restaurants depending on the clientele‘s particular taste. You can decide on any topping to “dress up” your bruschetta. The sky is the limit and of course whatever is available throughout the seasons.

Perhaps a little trivia will be appreciated by you. Bruschetta is the poor man’s original method of preparing stale bread. In reality, it is charred, oil soaked bread rubbed with garlic. Garlic bread is the overstated  “pretender.” Democracy in Britain confused the two garlic bread and bruschetta. Garlic bread was sold in the freezers but the elite citizens drooled over bruschetta, paying a small fortune at the River Café. Garlic bread became the “people’s food” and bruschetta became the snack for the People’s Party. What a reverse in just preparing bread with the use of olive oil.

Did you know that olive oil is the most important ingredient of bruschetta, not garlic? The garlic used on bruschetta is rubbed on so that the fresh garlic is inhaled and is the background for the use of olive oil. Garlic lumps are not eaten. Perhaps the very beginning of bruschetta was found in the ancient Roman practice of tasting newly pressed olive oil on a piece of bread as olive oil had to be prepared literally within hours of harvesting the olives. Garlic may or may not have been used; there really is no way of knowing. This practice of preparing bruschetta continues in the oil producing areas of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio to this date.

Bruschetta can be prepared many ways but some versions involve frying country bread in lots of oil until the bread is literally permeated with extra virgin olive oil. Other cooks choose to bake slices of white bread in the oven and then coat the bread with olive oil.

If there is a loaf of stale bread not being use, than think of bruschetta. Toast the bread and soak the browned bread in extra virgin olive oil, rubbed with garlic and to be enjoyed as an entrée, fit for the elite, though bruschetta at one time being the food for ordinary people. 

bruschetta, bread dipping, olive oil

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