Fettunta means oily slice and in tuscan dialect it’s a compound word made up of fetta – slice and unta-oily.
During these first weeks of november when new olive oil is pressed, gorgeous bottles of vivid green oil are sold. Olive oil in Tuscany is very important and makes up for a huge part of the olive oil sold throughout the country it is recognised not only for its quantity but especially for its great quality. Only in the province of Florence, there are more than 5 million olive trees, with an average yearly production of some 6,600,000 kilos of oil produced in over 90 presses. The main varieties of olive trees in the area of Florence are Frantoio, Moraiolo, Leccino and Pendolino.
When olives are pressed families and friends gather and celebrate the olio nuovo or novo (in tuscan dialect) around a table. There is however a really special feast that takes place within the press (frantoio) while the machines work making a nasty sound, and where producers come and go leaving their produce. Here, a table is set and people tend to bring along some wine and bread. Very often, a spontaneous, family like gathering takes place – people waiting begin to drink and chat, they often boast about the quantity of olives picked, in the meantime buckets of oil are collected and slices of bread are literally dropped into this liquid green gold and tasted. It’s an incredible experience that I believe you should take part in at least once in your life!
Now, let’s go back to Fettunta! Never, ever call it garlic bread! This would imply the use of bread (that’s not tuscan), – garlic (that’s not tuscan), possibly butter and finally oregano or maybe some other dried herb. Now, fettunta is traditionally roasted tuscan saltless bread with an abundant drizzle of newly pressed extra virgin olive oil. Many people rub a garlic clove over the toasted bread before pouring the olive oil and a pinch of salt, either way this has nothing to do with garlic bread that is normally not eaten in Italy.
Summer Version of fettunta is bruschetta!