Bruschetta, toasted treat from Italy

Photo of Modern Tomato Bruschetta. (Michael Spenser)

Bruschetta started as a poor man's lunch of toasted bread brushed with garlic and olive oil then topped with any of a large number of flavourings. Today bruschetta is a luxury cafe food.

Traditional Bruschetta

Photo of Traditional Italian Bruschetta. (Ra Boe (RaBoe/Wikipedia))Bruschetta originated in Italy as a poor man's lunch made from toasted, often stale, bread brushed with the best quality olive oil they could afford and topped with any of a large number of flavourings, tomato and sausage being standard. In Piedmont the bread is usually rubbed with garlic before adding olive oil, the use of garlic has become a standard part of the international style of bruschetta.

In Italy, to this day, bruschetta is sometimes called fettunta or "Toasted bread".

Modern Bruschetta

Photo of Modern Tomato Bruschetta. (Michael Spenser)Today, in English speaking countries, bruschetta is an appetiser made with toasted Italian bread, rubbed with garlic and brushed with olive oil. This is topped with tomato, basil, and a contrasting flavour such as onion or capsicum and often a cheese such as mozarella or feta. Although the Italian bruschetta oftern had sausage, I've yet to see a modern bruschetta that wasn't vegetarian.

As it is just a toasted open sandwich here are nearly as many ways of making bruschetta as you can imagine. As with all recipes as long as you have the basics right there really isn't a right or wrong way to make bruschetta, just be guided by your taste.