Application Note – Food N.4 – Bruschetta


It is an appetizer whose origin dates to at least the 15th century from central Italy. It consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Variations may include toppings of spicy red pepper, tomato, vegetables, beans, cured meat, and/or cheese; the most popular recipe outside of Italy involves basil, fresh tomato, garlic and onion or mozzarella. Bruschetta is usually served as a snack or appetizer.

In Italy, Bruschetta is often prepared using a brustolina grill. As olives are taken to the local mill for pressing in November and December, growers typically take some country bread with them. There is usually a small fireplace in the corner of the pressing room, and when the oil emerges from the press, the grower toasts a bit of the bread on the fire to sample the oil with. The next step is rubbing the toasted bread with garlic. Then, it is finished off with small, diced onions. This was a way of salvaging bread that was going stale.

In Italian, bruschetta is pronounced [brusˈketta], The noun “bruschetta” is from the verb in the Roman dialect “bruscare,” meaning “to roast over coals”. Following a semantic shift, some Americans use the word “bruschetta” to refer to the topping instead of the dish. Many grocery store chains in the United States sell bottled “bruschetta,” which is typically tomatoes, onion, garlic and other herbs.