Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tramezzini- Italian tea sandwiches

One of the things I miss most about Italy are these little fellows, tramezzini. For lack of a better description, they are crustless tea sandwiches. Except, as you can imagine, Italians do not have them with tea, but with wine.

I can't understand why they're not known in the US, except that they perhaps appear un-Italian. Not true, Italians adore them, and they are found in practically every bar, where they can be consumed as snacks throughout the day or as a light lunch. Venice specializes in big, fat, paunchy tramezzini.

As we are tramezzini-deprived here in the US, you'll have to make your own, as I did today (and yesterday). Procure regular white bread, as fresh as possible (best bought that day). Cut slices diagonally (to form triangles, as seen in photo) or straight across (to form rectangles). Carefully cut crusts. Here are some classic combinations (mayonnaise is usually included, and many ingredients are from the pantry):

  • tuna and olives

  • tuna and cipolline

  • tuna and hard-boiled egg slices

  • ham and mushrooms

  • cocktail shrimp and lettuce

  • smoked salmon and butter

  • tuna and tomato

  • fresh mozzarella and tomato

  • asparagus and hard-boiled egg slices

Newer combinations include bresaola and rucola, or brie and speck. To keep fresh, place under damp towel. Good to serve with a glass of Prosecco.