The Power of the Antipasto Platter
When people talk Italian food, it’s almost always pizza, pasta and risotto. However, there is another feature to Italian cuisine that is arguably just as important. Of course, we’re talking about antipasto!
The aim of antipasti is to whet the appetite rather than satisfy it. So you’ll often find that most items on an antipasto platter are bite sized for that reason. However, for what these types of foods lack in size, they should make up for with intense flavour. A successful platter should combine both contrasting and complementary flavours to really prepare one’s palette for dinner.
Similarly, colour and texture should be a strong consideration when selecting items for your platter. A mixture of contrasting colours and textures is, again, always a nice touch. If you keep these platter considerations front of mind, you’ll be well on your way to making something that both looks and tastes great.
Typical ingredients that you’ll find on an antipasto board include olives, mushrooms, peppers, cured meats, cheeses and vegetables which can be served raw, grilled, roasted or pickled. In most cases these are served at room temperature, which is why many of the ingredients are often preserved in some way.
If you travel to Italy you may find that antipasti isn’t commonplace in the home. Instead, they’re reserved for special occasions such as family reunions or religious ceremonies. And in many cases it’s common to find antipasti being served out of refrigerated bars or buffet tables. The finer establishments will put more of an emphasis on the antipasto course and have it as part of their menu.
The variety within antipasto can be contributed to the different regions across Italy and their geographical location. Northern Italian borders the alps, therefore antipasti in this area will often feature alpine cheeses. Meanwhile Southern Italian Antipasti ingredients often include seafood such as anchovies, mussels and shrimp.
Here in Australia, we have a climate ideally suited for the antipasto platter. We’ve already adopted more of an alfresco dining scene following COVID-19, so why not make antipasto more of a thing? If you’re thinking of adding to your platter selection with your next menu, be sure to check out our range of antipasto products here. Plus we’ve got an awesome Antipasto Plank Recipe if you’re looking for inspiration!