Cucina cucina

Curiosità e prodotti tipici Curiosità e prodotti tipici

Toast


The origins of toast (crostini) dates back to ancient times, when the dinning table was not laid with single plates, but the food was served on large trays from which everyone would take what they desired and place it directly into their mouths, or if necessary placing it on a piece of bread. This use continued until the end of the XVII century, enough to observe the paintings that represent the opulent banquets of the Renaissance to notice that the tables were very unrefined. The piece of bread gathered oils, sauces, various pieces of meat, becoming very tasty and flavoursome. They were the ancestors of our crostini; pieces of bread covered in a minced meat of a more humble part of an animal. As the bread was usually quite hard (in fact it was made only two or three times a month), it was firstly used toasted and then soaked in broth or in wine to make it eatable. For many years the chicken livers on toast has been irremissibile in the starters in nearly all of Tuscany. It is prepared with many variations and it is very rare to taste two the same. In fact, notwithstanding the Tuscan tradition asks that it be cooked only with oil, there are those who use also a little butter (that enhances it very well) and those others who not only add onions to the fry but also other vegetables such as celery, carrot, parsley and finally a little tomato sauce. Also there is the question of wine: those who use red in respect to the most genuine farm tradition, and those who use white, those who use Vinsanto or dry Marsala. Some also use brandy or cognac. Also with regard to the bread the use is very different: those who bake the bread at home and use the "stale" white for the crostini. There are those who toast it and those who fry, others who leave it natural; there are those who soak the bread in broth, in Vinsanta and those who leave it dry; finally there are those who serve it cold and those who prefer it warm. But crostini are not served only with chicken livers or only for chicken livers. Those of Arezzo for example use also chicken meat, egg yolk, capers, mixed pickles, vinegar and Vinsanto. There are also crostini of cibreo that are prepared adding to the chicken livers the crest, and the intestines of the chicken, other than onions, also capers, a little parsley and Vinsanto. There are other variations with the spleen of veal, capers and anchovies. But crostini may be done - not to mention those with fish or seafood – also only with cibreo, with pigs livers, with mushrooms, with game, with black cabbage, with cheese and, to top it all, with the interior of woodcock (called "merda di beccaccia") that is the only flying bird of whose innards may be cooked without cleaning first. These crostini are an absolute delicacy for hunters and gourmets for the particular taste of the innards, that however for less refined palates, may be washed. It is a shame that today "la beccaccia" is not found very often and that this crostini is destined to become a mythical memory like that of dolceforte that is no longer found at all.
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