Now seen in restaurant tables across the globe, the breadstick has a rich history and regal origins. Its creation dates to 1679 Italy, in the court of the royal House of Savoy, where baker Antonio Brunero was ordered by the court’s doctor to create a nourishing food for Future King Victor Amadeus II – a sickly, weak child with digestive issues. Antonio set to work, taking the dough of ghersa, a typical bread of Torino, stretching it out into long, thin strips. Once baked, the thin bread sticks were crisp and easy to digest – and Italian food history was made.
Breadsticks haven’t changed much from Antonio Brunero’s original recipe. Dough is rolled thin to 40-80cm long, twisted, and baked to a golden-brown colour, coming out of the oven like sticks or pencils (it was said Napoleon Bonaparte called breadsticks “little sticks of Turin”).
Breadsticks are also known as grissini, from the ghersa dough used to make them. Their characteristic ‘knots’ are a result of a baker’s careful hands.
One of the reasons breadsticks have remained popular is their versatility. They pair excellently with dishes like soups, salads, and pasta, ideally served as a light appetiser, with drinks, dips, salads, soups, or as part of an antipasti board. A good breadstick is a great snack simply on its own – savoury, snappable, and satisfying.
It’s not unheard of for breadsticks to also be used in desserts, too. Pairings with sweet ingredients like fruit jams or melted chocolate are not just unheard of, but are encouraged. Nutella and crispy breadsticks – a twosome cooked up by mad researchers or marketers – is now seen as a ‘normal’ combination, packed into children’s lunchboxes all over the world.
The Artisan Bread Company’s breadsticks give a nod to the first grissini seen in the Court of Savoy, but they’re also refined for modern palettes.
In a world where we eat with our eyes more than ever before, breadsticks have maintained a rustic allure yet are the perfect base for additional flavours and textures. Whether they’re flecked with rosemary or sprinkled with sesame seeds, our breadsticks offer a little modern twist on the traditional recipe, making them a great snack just on their own.
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