Italian Recipes: Bruschetta or Fett’Unta
Tradition and folklore are at the origin of many Italian customs which have become real institutions throughout the country and among them, Italian recipes and gastronomic specialties are especially well-known all over the world. The famous “Bruschetta” is certainly no exception. It is a typical dish of national cuisine, simple, full of flavour, attractiveness and colours thanks to the simple and genuine ingredients it is made with.
The story of the Italian bruschetta
The bruschetta came about at a time when the population lived on local and agricultural products, and would never consider the option of throwing away leftover food. It is thought that it originated from the necessity of the common people to find a way of using up stale bread or as a kind of snack for those who worked in the fields. The name derives, in fact, from the term “bruscare” (to toast) that has origins even in Etruscan times.
Italian Bruschetta: the recipe
For the base of the bruschetta recipe you will need some toasted bread “bruscato”, or stale bread that is toasted over a fire or in an oven so it regains all its flavor and crunchiness. Afterwards it is rubbed with garlic, which, thanks to the heat, seeps into the bread, and it is sprinkled with olive oil. The last step is to top it with chopped tomatoes and a few basil leaves. This ancient recipe shows us how bread has always played an important role in the diet of Italians, boasting over tens and dozens of different forms and preparations, with endless variations.
Today the bruschetta, so far from having lost popularity, is still served in restaurants and trattorias all over Italy with a success that does not show any sign of slowing down. There are many variants also in the shape of hors d’oeuvres that include the addition of salami, vegetables and cheeses, with a base of tasty sliced toasted bread, seasoned with oil and rubbed with garlic. The recipe can change according to the regions. In Tuscany for example the bruschetta takes the name of Fett ‘ Unta (oily slice) and even today they still use unsalted bread or “silly bread” as they call it -characteristic of the region, and extra virgin olive oil, which is also the fruit of a secular tradition. In Calabria it is called “Fedda Ruscia” and in Piedmont “Soma D’aj”.
National bruschetta day
And now a curiosity that says a lot about the importance and success of this specialty that, albeit simple and quick to eat and prepare remains one of the most loved by Italians. The 4th of August is the national holiday of the Bruschetta or Fett ‘ Unta!
Now that you know all the secrets about bruschetta, an Italian summer specialty you just have to taste it.