food and wine

Crostini toscani: The original bruschetta?

For decades now, the bruschetta (pronounced broo-SKEHT-tah) has been a staple of Italian cuisine in the U.S.

But few realize that it has it’s origins in Tuscan cuisine. In fact, no proper Tuscan meal is complete without a selection of crostini, the original bruschette (the word crostino is akin to the English term crouton, for crunchy bread, usually stale).

They are nearly always served as the classic Tuscan antipasto and they are often presented alongside classic Tuscan salumi.

Topping can range widely and some take creative license when preparing them. But the traditional toppings are chicken liver, spleen, and mushrooms.

The concept behind the crostino is simple: It’s a way of repurposing stale bread. And in the case of Tuscan-style saltless bread, the dry rounds of bread are the perfect balance for the often very salty toppings.

Those are some crostini we were recently served at the Osteria Porta al Cassero in the heart of Montalcino’s historic center. See info below.

Osteria Porta al Cassero
(no website)
Via Ricasoli 32
53024 Montalcino SI Italy
+39 0577 847196

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