Grissini (breadsticks) is now a widespread food throughout Italy, but in Turin there is no self-respecting lunch or dinner without this delicious and fragrant stick of bread peeping out on the table. The name breadstick comes from the Piedmontese word ghërsa, which indicates the classic traditional bread with an elongated shape. They have a very interesting history. In fact, they have a history of more than 3,000 years!

Nowadays they are a must-have antipasto item since it goes perfectly with an endless range of cured meats and cheeses.

grissiniThe History

However, concerning its history, we have two theories. One came about during the 1300s when ‘Grissia’ meant bread loafs in the dialect of Turin. During this period, bakers began to produce a kind of bread that became smaller and smaller to the point where people began to call the bread ‘grissino’ as a diminutive.

On the other hand, the second theory is about Vittorio Amedeo II (Duke of Savoy in 1670) when he was just 9 years old. Around that period, his health was petty bad and his doctor turned to Antonio Brunero, a local baker, to produce something easily digestible so that the Duke would be able to eat enough to get his appetite and strength back. Apparently it is thanks to grissini that he was able to regain his health and go on to achieve great things for Turin.

The Process

Grissini are achieved by using a simple recipe that mixes flour, yeast, water and olive oil. The dough is made from these simple ingredients which is then formed into little and thin sausages and stretched out to achieve the desired finish. Once done with that, some flavors can be added such as sesame seeds to herbs. In Italy, they are often eaten as appetizers, paired with cured meats of all kinds.

Grissini Pairings

You’ll often see them wrapped around a slice of prosciutto and eaten with a glass of wine during aperitivo. In fact, ham breadsticks are a simple and tasty appetizer, to be prepared in a very short time, even well in advance, to brighten up the table with taste and imagination, but also with a lot of simplicity. This is one of the quickest creations with which to serve you need simple ingredients. This can be a perfect cold appetizer for the summer, but can totally be eaten in any season. A light solution to open a lunch with a rich menu, but also a quick idea for dinner, just set them aside with some fresh mozzarella and olive oil on top! Ham breadsticks are considered a snack that everyone likes easily and so prepared they are really perfect either for the person preparing them and the ones eating them: no one will resist! Serve them accompanied with delicious mozzarella cherries (buffalo if possible, they are the best ones!), olives, plain or seasoned, and other delicious snacks to taste. With that said, they can totally be eaten as a snack too in between meals or with meals such as lunch and dinner with salads and meats!

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