Fast food, good food: Italian panini and bruschetta

Jun 24, 2015 745

by Michael Kiefer

From big-city Rome to small-town Umbria, you can't walk 40 feet without passing an Italian cafe with an array of panini laid out in a case. They may be squarely set in crustless white bread (cut diagonally like Mom did); eclair-size torpedo-shaped rolls or crusty rectangles that look like leavened matzoh, sandwiching thin slices of ham or salami or cheese or vegetables.

You point to the one you want and the lady behind the case picks it up with tongs, throws it on the press and heats it before handing it to you wrapped in a napkin or a piece of wax paper, and off you go, to eat it on the street.

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