Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Newest Italian Phenomenon - Bruschetta

There's nothing like a good brushetta. That age old Italian hors oeuvre has hit American shores with a big wallop. Now it's all over from pizzerias selling it as a topping to homemakers incorporating it on their holiday menus. It's one of the easiest dishes to make and the most tastiest.

Bruschetta is nothing new. The Italians have been making it since the 1500s. The name comes from the Roman dialect "bruscare" or to be roasted over coals. It's just simpkyslices of oil brushed Italian bread roasted over a fire. Bruschetta means the whole slice but in the US its' meaning has shifted to also mean the topping. The Tuscans call it fettunta meaning oiled slice. In the southern Abruzzi region it's known as ventricina and covered with a raw spiced pork paste and then grilled.

Americans usually like their bruschetta with equal parts mozzarella and tomato.Basil is added to give it a woodsy "green flavor" You can also buy a veggie mix known as vegetable bruschetta which can be slathered on hot grilled Italian bread slices. To mix it up, make your bruschetta with a base of any Italian cold cuts from soprasutta to salami. You can also sub the mozzarella with Parmesan cheese and add chopped peppers to the tomato mix,. Olive, whole or minced are another good topping.

Bruschetta may be a new phenomenon here in the States but it's got old country goodness added to it. It's the perfect pre-meal appetizer to feed hungry guests and the perfect hors d'oeuvre for holiday get togethers.

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