Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Sweet Crostini at Victoria on the 4th of July

By Cal Orey

Meet a superb sophisticated Italian appetizer called crostini. These versatile cuties are made with small slices of toasted bread and an assortment of toppings.  Think cheeses, vegetables, herbs, and even fruit. These scrumptious treats go back centuries and were served to peasants who didn’t have plates—and these days crostini can be served to all classes of people, rich, poor and in between.
On my July trip to Victoria, British Columbia I was one of the lucky chosen few (a treat to the suite guests) to enjoy the concierge dining room appetizer bar. At five o’clock P.M., I entered the highest floor of the hotel with a picturesque panoramic view of the boat harbor complete with special food for special people. As the finicky semi-vegetarian it was the crackers, cheese, olives, and fruit that won my attention. I scooped up a plate full of the edibles and fled back to my room with the million dollar Inner Harbour view.  
Ironically, while I put together little appetizers a flashback of Tahoe visited me.

A crostini and fresh summer berries? Ah, pick up a copy
of the Superfoods book and enjoy!
Years ago when I was a stringer for the Tahoe Tribune I wrote a dozen articles for a magazine on noteworthy locals. My editor gave a magazine launch party at one of our town food spots. As the reclusive writer I forced myself to make a cameo appearance. When she asked me to read each article aloud I whispered, “Can someone else do it? I’m shy.” The extroverted publisher did the deed as I listened to my words on paper. Feeling calm out of the limelight I snuck over to the food table and snagged bruschetta (like crostini but larger toasted bread slices often with olive oil) to munch on.
So, back to the awesome Canadian suite complete with English d├ęcor. I put together artful appetizers like I enjoyed back at the Tahoe Tribune event. I placed different foods on the assortment of crackers and pretended they were the classic crostini and bruschetta appetizers are Victoria inspired with a taste of Tahoe.

These tasty tidbits were fun to eat as well a healthful way to eat a light dinner. Back at home instead of a picture-perfect view of an island city, I whipped up these tasty bites in the comfort of my cabin surrounded by pine trees, and my view of a cat, dog, birds, and squirrels. And note, wherever you are this summer or year round these appetizers are worth writing home about.

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