Bruschetta – recipes for the perfect Italian antipasti

A glass of wine, a perfectly balanced crunchy piece of bread with fresh tomato – what else do you need to feel like in Italian holidays?
We have collected some of the best Bruschetta recipes for a quick fresh light snack or a perfect starter selection for your next dinner invitation, bringing the flavour of Italy to your home.

During our Food Tours in Italy, for instance on the Food Tour Rome or Food Tour Taormina, we will sample this all-time-favourite like the locals adore it.

The term ‘bruschetta’ originally comes from Italian ‘pane bruscato’, meaning simply toasted bread. It was first a poor-mans-dish, using leftover hard bread, leftover vegetables and herbs. In sevveral regions of Italy, it has several names and different toppings, always with toasted bread as the main ingredient.

Today it is widely known as a welcomed starter or antipasti, a snack before the main course or to accompany a glass of wine.

The classic version of Buschetta is toasted bread with some garlic rubbed on the still warm slice, a dash of olive oil and salt. Most important is the quality of the olive oil. For the bread, best is a plain wheat baguette or a traditional farmers bread with crust, it may already be 2-3 days old and a little dry, so it roastes even better. A whole wold of taste sensations, the crunchieness, the aroma of the olive oil, the tickling of the garlic and the subtle pinch of salt…

The recipe of Bruschetta with Tomato adds freshly chopped, ripe tomatoes and some minced green basil leaves, that bring additional freshness and flavour.

Bruschetta with Tapenade is another fantastic recipe. Green or black olives, olive oil, a bit of anchovi paste and salt are blended to a thick puree, to top the roasted bread, adding some chopped onions as a garnish.

Bruschetta Caprese combines the freshness of white milky mozzarella cheese, chopped tomatos, some black olives and a dash of oregano. Served on toasted bread with the fresh mixture, or baked in the oven just till the cheese starts to melt.

Bruschetta Pastorale is a real gourmet version, crisp bread with creamy goats cream cheese, thin sweet pear slices, crunchy walnut bits and some rosemary honey.

Bruschetta Vegetale tops the toasted garlic bread with fresh grilled vegetables like colourful capsicum, eggplant, zucchini, again with a dash of good olive oil, rosemary and fresh pepper from the grinder.

For meat lovers, a Bruschetta also combines perfectly with a good liver pate or thin cut bresaola ham and rocket leaves.

Do you want to try the real Bruschetta in Italy? So come and taste it at our

Food Hopping Roma Food Tour!

Germany’s sweet side

Germanys sweet bakery products, as well as delicious desserts, are famous worldwide. And that for good reasons: the German bakery and confectionary craftmanship is organised since the 12th century, and the guilds set the level high ever since in serious artisan craftwork. Also there is still much pride in home-made cakes and desserts, as well as a vibrant community of passionate leisuretime pastry chefs, reinventing traditional recipes and sharing on social media.

There is an endless variety of cakes, pies, sweet breads and small pastries, often with fruits like apple, plums or berries, with or without different cream toppings. Cheese cake, baked with unique german dairy products like ‘Quark‘ or ‘Schichtkäse‘, is also a favourite. The doughs vary from yeast dough, shortcrust, sponge cake to puff pastry, with creative fillings and forms. During the christmas season, home-made cookies are a must in many families. As it comes to desserts, other than pastries, fresh seasonal fruits, fruit compots, custard or groats puddings are the most popular traditional options. German chocolate, bonbons and jelly gums are a further huge area of highly elaborated pleasures.

Every region in Germany has their own favourite sweet treats – so we can only state a very small fraction of food favourites, from northern to southern Germany. On our Food Hopping food tours Germany, we can guarantee to satisfy your sweet tooth with authentic local tastes…

In the north of Germany, a popular dessert is the ‘Rote Grütze‘, made of red berries cooked with wine and thickened with starch, often served with ice-cream or custard. The town of Lübeck is famous for their marzipan. As the northern cities were big in sea trade from medieval times on, precious goods like almonds, cane sugar, cocoa and exotic spices were always fresh and available for confectioners.

The western regions of Germany, ‘Pfannkuchen’ sweet egg pancakes, often filled with jelly, fresh fruits or chocolate cream, are a shared speciality with the French, Belgian and Dutch neighbours. One of the most famous german cakes, however, is the ‘Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte‘ the black-forrest cake, named from the south-western mountain area of Schwarzwald. It is an impressive cacao-sponge cake, soaked with cherry spirit, filled and topped with cooked red sour cherries, sweetened whipped cream and chocolate flakes.

Eastern Germany is particularly reknown for baked pastries. To pick some in particular, the ‘Dresdner Stollen‘ is a durable sweet bread, made with yeast, dry fruits, a marzipan filling and spread with butter and confectioners sugar after baking. It is a typical christmas cake, that should rest for 2-3 weeks after baking, to be tender to eat at the holidays. The deep-fried ‘Krapfen‘ or ‘Berliner‘ are similar to doughnuts, but instead of having a hole in the middle, they are ball-like and filled with sweet fruit paste or cream. Throughout Germany, they are a favourite carnival pastry.

in the centre of Germany, fruit-bearing trees provide a rich harvest for diverse fruit desserts. From apple-cheesecake, plum griddle cake with crumbles, bread pudding with cherries, to more peculiar ingredients like rhuabarb, rosehip or goose berries, all make delicious cakes and desserts. Unique German dairy products, like ‘Dickmilch‘ or ‘Schmand‘, add fresh tangy flavours to balance the sweetness. A full meal itself are ‘Kartoffelpuffer‘, potato fritters with apple sauce.

The south of Germany share a preference for cooked pastry with the Austrian neighbours. ‘Dampfnudeln‘ and ‘Germknödel‘ are sweet white dumplings, made with yeast dough, sometimes filled with fruit puree and steamed, not baked. They are served with butter, sugar and crushed poppy seeds, or with fruit sauces or custard. Typical is also the famous ‘Bayerischcreme‘ or Bavarian cream, a white cream made with eggs, milk, gelatine and heavy cream, aromated with vanilla bean and topped with fruit sauce.

To conclude our little insight into Germanys sweet side, the afternoon coffee or tea, together with a piece of cake or pastry, is a beloved tradition, especially at the weekends. No wonder – with such a variety of mouthwatering sweet foods at sight!
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Food Hopping Germany Food Tours!

Italy’s sweet side

Dolce vita, the sweet life, that´s one of the most known italian frases… looking at the dessert culture of Italy, it sounds quite reasonable. Italys long and agitated cultural history brought out a indefinite number of delicious dessert recipes, varying from region to region.
Using prime ingredients like fresh cream, sugar, fruits and/or spirits as well as flaky bakery goods, Italian desserts are elegant and light in taste – it´s almost impossible to resist, even after a good multi-course meal…we asked our Food Hopping guides about their favourite dessert, and here is their shortlist:

Gelato: the all-italian soul food. Already the roman emperors enjoyed glacier ice mixed with fruit sirup, brought by runners from the alps. From the 17th centrury on, recipes of ice-cream with milk or cream exist. The secret of smooth ice-cream lies in continouus whisking while the ice cristalizes.
Napoli is the traditional stronghold of italian artisanal ice-cream. From the most classic tastes like vanilla, chocolata or strawberry to modern inovations like green tea, bacon-honey, or even salty variations – ice-cream is a must in Italy, for instance at our Food Hopping tour in Rome!

Panna Cotta: a typical dessert of northern Italy, made of sweetened cream thickened with gelatine. The cream may be aromatized with coffee, vanilla, or other flavorings. It is often served with a fruit sauce, caramel or chocolate, or covered with fruits or liqueurs.

Tiramisu: this italian dessert has a legendary status. The italian “Tirami sù“ means “pick me up” in english. This might be because of it`s rich ingredients – eggs, sugar, coffee and mascarpone cream cheese – that may lift spirits and are very nutritive.
A legend tells, that a version of this dessert existed already in the Renaissance times, when venetian ladies served them to their lovers as a aphrodisiakum, to help them gain energy for the night.
Several regions in Italy fight over the written proof who had the first Tiramisu on the menu. We stay with the legends and have a delicious Tiramisu at our tour in Venice.

Cannolo: Up for a sweet treat of creamy ricotta in a crispy dough shell? Cannoli, “little tubes”, are the best known sicilan pastries. It is uncertain if the greeks or the arabs brought the original recipe – without any doubt they are worth to taste here, hand-crafted at a traditional sicilan bakery!

Granita: When it´s hot in summer, we all love a refreshing drink, cooled down with ice. The italian answer is the other way around: granita, crushed ice with fruit juice. Small booth open in summer on every spot where thirsty people gather – at town squares, parks, playgrounds and at the beach. Most pintoresque are the Granita bycicles – ambulant vendors with all the ingredients on their bike. They stop where a good granita is needed. for example, right during our Food Tour in Sorrento!

Baba cake: The volcano is omnipresent in Napoli, even in the shape of the traditional „Babà“ cake. A delicious sweet dough, baked and soaked with Rum. We try this original sweet treat during our tour in Naples.

Cassata: a traditional sweet from Sicily, especially Palermo. Cassata consists of round sponge cake moistened with fruit juices or liqueur and layered with ricotta cheese and candied fruits. It is covered with a shell of marzipan, pink and green pastel colored icing, and decorative designs. The cassata is topped with candied fruit depicting cherries and slices of citrus fruit characteristic of Sicily. You won´t miss that delicacy during our Food Hopping in Palermo!

Zabaione: ending our short list with a Z, the Zabaione o Zabaglione is a popular northern italian dessert, made with egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala wine. It is whisked up in bain-marie to an airy foam, and often served with hard biscuits to dip in.

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Frankfurt am Main in Trade and Taste

The city of Frankfurt am Main in Germany is often compared to Manhattan, New York. First, because of its economic relevance: Frankfurt headquarters the European Central Bank, the German Bundesbank as well as the Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse with the German stock exchange, countless important banks and finance cooperations, internationally important fairs and exhibitions like the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung, the Frankfurter Buchmesse and  the Musikmesse, and it also counts with one of the worlds largest airport, the Flughafen Frankfurt (FRA).

The skyline with some of the highest buildings in Europe adds to the comparision. Historic landmarks are the idyllic Römerberg, the Kaiserdom or the Eiserner Steg. Frankfurt is also a green city with almost 40% of protected green areas. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born here, and the cultural live of Frankfurt today is on a high level with the Frankfurt Opera house, the Schauspielhaus, countless museums, the Frankfurter Zoo and the Palmengarten botanical park.  In addition, Frankfurt am Main is a multicultural melting pot with people coming from all over the world to live and work.

The gastronomic landscape of Frankfurt also counts with superlatives –  from traditional local food to modern world kitchen – in Frankfurt you´ll find almost everything for every gusto!

One of the oldest local delicacies, already known from medieval times,  is the Frankfurter Würstchen sausage, a pure-pork smoked and cooked sausage, originally always served in pairs.  Another pork dish is the rustic Rippchen mit Kraut, a hearty portion of cured pork cooked in sauerkraut.  Rustic stews and potato dishes are also popular. An extraordinary speciality is the Frankfurter Grüne Sosse, a cold sauce made of 7 chopped fresh herbs and sourcream – delicious with hardboiled eggs and cooked portatoes!
For the adventurous visitor, there is also a speciality called Handkäs mit Musik. It is a fresh sour-milk cheese in a dressing with oil, vingar, caraway and chopped raw onions. With fresh bread, it is a common tasty snack in traditional taverns.

Famous sweet bakery goods from Frankfurt are the Frankfurter Kranz, a rich buttercream-filled cake with roasted nut-topping, the Bethmännchen shaped from marzipan and almonds or vrious apple-filled pastries.

The apple plays an important role in Frankfurt – as a popular ingredient for savoury and sweet dishes, but most important for the Frankfurter Apfelwein, a dry cider. There are countless cosy taverns where Apfelwein and pairing dishes are served. Very dry and refreshing, often mixed with sparkling water, the locals love to drink their Apfelwein in summer, or also mulled with some cinnamon, lemon zest and sugar in the wintertime.

Of course, in Frankfurt you can also taste very good local beers or the wines of the closeby Rhine region, especially the famous Riesling, as white wine or sparkling Rieslingsekt.

Young chefs and restaurant owners are proud to find a modern twist to the traditional Frankfurt kitchen, and a varied scene awaits to be explored in different areas of the city.
So come and follow your Food Hopping guide to the best traditional taverns and insiders’ places of Frankfurt on a

Food Hopping Frankfurt Food Tour!

Germany’s Culinary Landscape

Germany is a parade example in terms of impressive cultural achievements, famous historical sights and beautiful landscapes, as well as one of the most advanced economies in Europe.  Great musicians like Beethoven, Bach or Wagner, famous poets and writers like Goethe, the Grimm brothers, Brecht, style-forming painters like Duerer, Rubens, Klee – all were Germans. And who does not know the emblematic Schloss Neuschwanstein, the Kölner Dom or the Berliner Brandenburger Tor?

From the Baltic sea coastline in the north to the valleys of the Alps in the south, you`ll pass rivers like the Rhine and the Donau, extended woods, rich agricultural lands as well as numerous city areas. Hosting all kinds of industry from production over high-tech to services and banking. With the European Central Bank located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany is a motor of the European progress.

When it comes to food, Germany has the fame to prefer rustic, filling meals with sausages, stews, sauerkraut and pretzel being the emblematic components.

Sweet bakery goods like Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte, Obstkuchen or Windbeutel, the rich varieties of bread and cold cuts are admired worldwide. This is all traditionally true and still a good portion of the German diet in general.

However, every region of Germany has its own specialities that they are proud of. Fresh vegetables, creative soups, colourful salads and a growing offer of vegetarian and healthy food styles add to the culinary landscape. Not to forget that Germany is an immigration country – even in the smallest town you find usually at least an Italian, Near Eastern and an Asian restaurant. Germans are curious and love to travel the world – on their vacation and on their plates at home.

The German “Reinheitsgebot“ limits the allowed ingredients of beer to hops, malt, yeast and water – in order to ensure a superior quality of product. There are more than 1400 breweries in Germany, and beer tasting is a serious social activity. The wines from the Rhine and the Mosel valleys are in millennial tradition from times of the Roman Empire, and young winemakers experiment with new grapes and maturation methods, to create a growing community of German wine fans. Remarkable is also the Apfelwein, a dry apple cider from the Hesse region.

With our Food Hopping Walking Food Tours in Germany, you will not only taste the regional traditional food and drinks as well as modern interpretations, but also discover the diverting tales around the food, the drinks and the region you are visiting. See you soon with

Food Hopping Germany Food Tours!

Dolce Vita in Italy!

When you think about Italy, what are the first things that come into your mind?

Let’s start for instance with an immense quality of living, fantastic weather, beautiful nature with wide beaches, mellow hillsides and impressive mountains, tons of history, art and culture…not to forget century-old traditions in wine- and cheesemaking as well as an unique famous food culture. Italian food is popular all over the world, brought by italian chefs from major cities to the most remote places. Every region in Italy has its ow very special food traditions, adding to italian food classics that are renown everywhere.

Did you know that a traditional italian menu has at least 3-4 courses, often devided in more variations during one course?

Starting with Italian antipasti, the famous starters, often a variety of cured meat, sausages, cheeses, olives, lightly roasted vegetables, olive oil and bread.

Then the pasta, italian first course, an endless choice of noodle dishes, topped with creamy pesto, tasty vegetarian sauces or delicious meat stew and often accompanied with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Also wellknown is the risotto, slow-cooked rice with broth and wine in several variations.

The second, or main dish, often is meat or fish depending on the region, accompanied by light sauces and a small side dish or a salad.

Italian desserts vary from a simple espresso to delicacies like venetian tiramisu, casatta frozen cake to sicilan cannoli, not to forget ‘il gelato’, the italian ice-cream.

And no meal should end without a “Caffè”, a small very strong black coffee, usually served together with a glass of water.

Getting hungry for more? See you soon with

Food Hopping Italy Food Tours!