While many Italian culinary offerings are appreciated and appropriated worldwide, nothing comes even remotely close to the garlic bread. The garlic bread has emerged from the famous bruschetta, which was a staple served alongside the ubiquitous pizza. However, it kept changing and evolving with toppings and flavors till it emerged as a scrumptious dish in itself.
The Old Way
This Italian classic was served without much difference in most leading restaurants and hotels. It was served in the traditional manner, in bruschetta style. This was basically day-old sourdough bread in the baguette shape which tastes best with a cheesy-garlicky topping.
Post World War II, the Italian-American garlic bread gained a lot of popularity as a yummy migrant dish, called Bruschetta alla Romana. Its roots go quite deep with it making its first appearance in the Tuscany region well before the Romans gained power there.
The very first version of garlic bread was day-old bread that was toasted and then rubbed with garlic. Olive oil was dribbled on it and a pinch of salt sprinkled before it reached the eater’s mouth. It was served in eateries called ‘thermopoliums’ and was a favorite of those who couldn’t afford expensive dishes.
The New Way
In the present times, the humble bruschetta has been loaded with goodies of all types ranging from prosciutto to chicken livers to fresh sausages and super fresh offerings like mushrooms, zucchini, eggplants, etc. These are then covered by cheeses. However, the best version of bruschetta still remains the old version – simple and divine-tasting.
How the garlic bread came about from this is in the US they chefs used garlic butter instead of olive oil. Instead of rubbing garlic, they either chopped or crushed it, and then added cheese to the dish. The only unchanged item remained the day-old sourdough bread.
If you are wondering about the need behind using bread that’s past its prime, the reason is it takes in butter or cheese far better than fresh bread. Also, it is much crispier which brings about that crunch everyone loves.
As of today, garlic bread is among the most famous migration food stories in the world. The Italian-American version is preferred over the classic as olive oil made its presence known several years later and by that time everyone had become hooked onto the cheese and butter version.
Also, its flavour profile banks on the ‘umaminess’ that comes from butter, cheese and other ingredients used in the making of it. This makes it extremely addictive for eaters all over the globe. It shows all signs of sticking around and newer chefs are either improvising using novel ingredients or going back to the original, albeit with a few tweaks.
This delicious delight has many fans, ranging from the very young to the very old. For the best version of this bread, all you have to do is head over to Avon Bakers. Just one bite and you’ll feel like you are in gourmet heaven!