Brustico

An Etruscan recipe

Imagine being an Etruscan from the seventh century BC, coming back home from a lucky fishing near the Lake of Chiusi. How would you have cooked the freshly caught fishes? Probably you would have looked around for something to burn to light a fire, maybe the lakeside reeds. Then, you would have toasted the fish on the smoldering embers, skewering them on a skewer or placing them on a rough grill.

 Let's go back to our day. What has changed? Nothing (except lighting the fire). In Val di Chiana the brustico, so called because it is fish abbruscato [toasted], is still prepared among sparks and popping, in exactly the same way the Etruscans cooked.

Once the fish, generally perches or small pikes, is cooked, it is cleared of excess soot and bones. The result is a plate of white fillets, simply seasoned with a dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper.

Leave aside the fork, because you can eat brustico even with your fingers, just like an Etruscan fisherman.

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