Bruschetta – Crostini… What’s the Difference?
Imagine eating at various restaurants in Italy and discovering two different antipasti choices: Bruschetta and Crostini. While these terms can be loosely titled on menus and even more loosely used by creative up-and-coming chefs, there is a traditional difference between the two food items. It all comes down to a matter of size. Here's the difference.
Bruschetta (pronounced: Bru-sket-tah)comes from the Italian verb “bruscare” which means “to roast over coals”. This refers to grilling or toasting the bread rather than the toppings. Traditionally – depending on the region – but in general terms, the bread would be very large slices (think the size of a man's palm). These large slices of bread would then be grilled.
Depending on the region the grilled bread would be rubbed with garlic. In every region, olive oil would be drizzled over the bread before being topped with fresh tomatoes and basil. The tomatoes used depends on what is grown in that region. Generally, tomatoes are the main topping, but bruschetta can be topped with meats, cheeses, and vegetables.
Crostone (singular) comes from the Italian term for little crusts (“crostino”) Most often you see the word with an “i” at the end making it plural. Crostini are made with thin, smaller slices of bread - usually a baguette. Like the bruschetta, crostini are always toasted.
These thinner small slices are topped with veggies – both grilled and raw, cheese, pates (the most famous being chicken liver pate), and sliced meats.
Crostini are easier to eat as they can be popped in one's mouth all at once if sliced and served properly. Some restaurants will serve the toasted bread in a basket along with a few jars of various toppings like the photograph below.
Whether you prefer the larger bruschetta or the smaller crostini your tastebuds will thank you.
Tell us which you prefer in the comment section below.