Bruschetta with prosciutto cotto, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, mozzarella & tomato sauce
Through the winding streets of the beautifully quaint, Tuscan "paese" (town) of San Gimignano, we struck gold at a tiny Bruschetteria (a restaurant dedicated solely to making bruschettas) called Echoes.
In this heavenly foodie-nook, we were warmly greeted by a man who seemed to be the owner. The place was so tiny and narrow that there were maybe only a total of 8 tables. The five of us sat down and immediately gazed around at the wine bottles lining the walls. We all agreed that we absolutely had to split a bottle, because I mean, we were in the Tuscan hills after all, and, of course, it would be downright insulting not to purchase a fine wine.
Once the menus came, our eyes immediately began scanning the list of nearly a hundred different bruschettas. Now, it is important to know that typically in Tuscany, bruschetta is a very bare and simple dish, eaten without the iconic diced tomatoes that we Americans recognize as the dish’s staple. Bruschetta is a very old tradition for the people of Tuscany, as they focus heavily on perfecting the same 4 ingredients needed for the dish since the beginning of time: crisp bread, perfumey olive oil, sea salt, and roasted garlic.
Bruschetta in general changes depending on which region of Italy you are in. Sure, you can find bruschetta with tomatoes in Tuscany, but just know that this type of bruschetta is not their tradition, but that of another subculture within the country. For a really great read on bruschetta to educate yourself and to make your mouth water, check out this article by the Telegraph.
At Echoes, they take the Tuscan tradition and turn it on its head by throwing their own style and choice of endless toppings into the mix. Boar’s meat, pork fats, tapenades, oh my. This bruschetta pictured above belonged to my friend, Pauline. The highlight of this bruschetta seemed to be the artichoke hearts bathed in oil. If you are ever in the beautiful, Medieval town of San Gimignano, I highly recommend paying a visit to Echoes, and opening your eyes and mouth to the world of bruschetta.