Last week on the Conversational Italian! Facebook group, we talked about what appetizers, or “antipasto” we like to serve for Easter and other holidays.
“Antipasto“ simply means “before the meal” in Italian and refers to small dishes served before “Il Primo” or “the first course” of pasta, an Italian rice dish of risotto, or Italian potato dumplings called gnocchi.
Below is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of our textbook, Conversational Italian for Travelers © 2012 by Stella Lucente, LLC, which lists our favorite “antipasti” served in Italy.
Notice, by the way, the pronunciation of a very common Italian appetizer served here in America— bruschetta —slices of toasted bread with various toppings, most commonly tomato and basil. The Italians pronounce it very differently than most Americans! What is your family’s favorite antipasto dish? Write and let us know!
If you want to read more about this topic, the textbook is available for delivery from Amazon.com and Learn Travel Italian.com. The rights to purchase the book in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be purchased at Learn Travel Italian.com.
|slice of bread|
|la bruschetta||toasted bread slices rubbed with garlic; can be topped with chopped tomatoes or chopped liver, and so on. (It’s pronounced br/oo/ske/ta because “che” is pronounced like the English word “key.”)|
|l’olio (d’oliva)||olive oil|
|l’aceto||vinegar (balsamic; aged vinegar from Modena/red wine vinegar)|
|l’antipasto misto||assorted appetizers|
|l’insalata verde/mista||mixed lettuce greens and vegetables|
|i calamari fritti||fried squid|
|la panzanella||tomato and bread salad, usually made with leftover bread cubes|
|la caprese||fresh tomato slices, basil, and mozzarella sprinkled with salt and drizzled with olive oil (from Capri)|
|le verdure (sottaceto)||assorted vegetables (pickled)|
|i peperoni (sottaceto)||peppers (pickled)|
|i funghi (sottaceto)||mushrooms (pickled)|
|i carciofi (sott’olio)||artichoke hearts (preserved in olive oil)|
|la caponata||Sicilian eggplant and olive appetizer, cooked and then served cold|
|la bagna cauda||warm olive oil, garlic, and anchovy dip for fresh or boiled vegetables, from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy|
|la mortadella||special type of bologna, from the city of Bologna|
|salami—a variety of dried/smoke-cured meats that vary by region|
|il fritto misto||assorted batter-fried vegetables, assorted fish and seafood, or a combination of both vegetables and seafood|
|il prosciutto||special air-dried/cured ham from the city of Parma|
|special cured ham served on top of a cantaloupe slice, often drizzled with balsamic vinegar|
|lo speck||special smoked ham from the region of Tyrol in Austria|
|il formaggio||cheese—made from cow, sheep, or goat milk in Italy (See Chapter 18 of Conversational Italian for Travelers for a chart of the most common Italian cheeses and their region of origin.)|