G&G goes abroad: Antipasto in Italy | Gourmand and Gourmet

G&G goes abroad: Antipasto in Italy

When it comes to Italian food, we usually think pizza or pasta, maybe with some gelato and tiramisu thrown in for dessert. But there is a whole world of scrumptious food in the country of romance that doesn’t come loaded with carbs. Welcome to the traditional way to start a meal; antipasti. A simple, shared plate of delicious goodies usually served as a first course to tempt the tastebuds. We’re also pretty sure this first course is the reason Italian’s stay so svelte. Nibbling on cheese and ham was the perfect way to take the edge off hunger and prevent us from gobbling down an entire bowl of ravioli for the second course. So how do you put together the perfect Italian antipasti plate to start off a meal? It starts with the meat. Paper thin slices of cured meats like prosciutto, salami, speck, and mortadella, artfully arranged on a plate, provide a rich start to get the mouth juices going. Next up, it’s time for some cheese. A tangy cheddar won’t do here, what you need is a mild, creamy provolone or mozzarella to perfectly match the salty meats. Finally, it’s time to get creative with some bruschetta. Classic toppings for these slices of super crusty bread (seriously, don’t try eating it with a toothache) include chopped tomato, basil pesto or anchovies. You can also go wild with blue cheese, cabbage and walnuts, or maybe roasted eggplant and capsicum. It’s all good. Wash it all down with a glass of rosé, or Chianti Classico if you want to channel Tuscanny, and you’ll soon be well into the spirit of an Italian meal: the coming together of good food, wine and friends. But if Italy is just a touch too far away to go for groceries, you can find everything you need to put together the perfect antipasti plate right here in Brisbane, at the very Italian New Farm Deli. Or if even that is too much effort, South Bank’s Popolo restaurant and Woollongabba’s 1889 enoteca put together a mean antipasti plate that will have you daydreaming of Tuscan hills. Words by Ranyhyn Akui