A rarely used noun that derived from the vulgar Latin verb brisare, to break. The dialectal version brisa is used in parts of northern Italy and I love the way the word sounds.
Briciola (plural briciole) is a diminutive form of bricia and it is commonly used.
Briciole usually refers to breadcrumbs, but also to other crumbled items, and even to intangible things, like happiness (una briciola di felicità).
Crumbles of butter, flour, fine polenta, sugar and ground almonds make a cake typical of Mantua, called sbrisolona. It is different from a typical crumble, because there is no fruit layer underneath the crunchy crumbles.
[This post is dedicated to Jeff, who noticed I had not explained the name of my blog.]