Old, but New – Panini, Crostini & Bruschetta
As I mention in yesterday’s post, throughout the past, we Italians have always eaten bread with everything. In the history of Italian breads the concepts of a sandwich or as some know them “sangwich or samwich” most likely started out as peasant fare.
The first known sandwich was made with honey, fruits and nuts placed in between 2 crackers sometime during the 1st century B.C.A.
Moving forward to Italy, and their gifts to the gastronomic world with ‘open-face’ inventions, such as pizza or foccaccia, and the much-loved dressed toast known as bruschetta, we would demand nothing more of the Italians.
Let’s briefly explore the “panini” crunchy breads holding warm meats and cheeses. There are endless panini sandwich recipes using ingredients that are totally healthy as well; the combinations are infinite! Though many Italians may, indeed, prefer panini plain, they are quite popular grilled in a panini press—filled or not!
Crostini are small, thin slices of toasted French or Italian bread topped with a few simple ingredients and served as an appetizer.
Bruschetta is really garlic bread, though it has become a form of open-face sandwich. It is rubbed with fruity extra virgin olive oil then grilled to golden. Garlic is rubbed lightly over the hot bread after grilling and then again drizzled with olive oil and seasonings. Present day sandwich enthusiasts dress and pile it high with ingredients of endless choices.
As you can see, butter and jam are not the only toppings suitable for bread. In Italy, we Italians dressed and transformed our beloved “pane” into many elaborate edible creations to please the palates of those near and far. So, my friends, rest assured that within the coming weeks, you will be sure to experience a Once Upon a Spice creation dedicated to the much-loved “sandwich.”