Quarantine pushed us hard. In Italy as well as in the USA where the numbers of the pandemic have reached really anxious peaks. Well, it seems that overseas, one of the most suitable antidotes for relaxing and finding lost light-heartedness is none other than the Italian aperitif. Forbes, the famous American business magazine support it. Moreover it has dedicated a detailed article to the matter by spending words of favor for this Made in Italy ritual now widespread also abroad. A liturgy that is difficult to give up even – and above all – in times like these. Thus, during the pandemic, many American refrigerators were supplied with the necessary to replicate this Italian tradition at home.
Attention! According to Forbes, the true Italian aperitif must not be Americanized. Tradition has it that the aperitif is consumed to entertain guests or to tease them before dinner. The keystone is the food able to accompany a selected drink: tampting tastes, light, if possible. Italian salty snacks are highly appreciated abroad: potatoes, dried fruit, olives, and focaccia of course.
A good rule when choosing a snack is to work with contrasts in order to enhance the taste of the drink. Taking care not to overdo. For sweeter drinks, based on red vermouth, one of the simplest but effective combinations is hard cheese (true Italian heritage). But small cubes of salami are also fine, or tarts with anchovies in oil. For the driest cocktails, based on dry or extra dry vermouth, it is good to focus on something that has a hint of sweetness: excellent beccafico sardines of the Sicilian tradition, for example.
As for the drink, the range embraces new trends. Traditional pre dinner cocktails are good, the light versions of the more properly nocturnal drinks, that is the long drinks, refreshing drinks, fruity drinks, low alcohol drinks, and even the Mocktail, those completely alcohol-free are welcomed. To make relaxation and conviviality complete, Forbes recommends taking care of the detail, also choosing an Italian background music. All to be enjoyed strictly offline. The buzz of good food should not be interrupted by rings and notifications. God forbid.
In order to prepare a truly Italian aperitif, even in the USA a few minutes and creativity are enough. No special skills are needed. Pasquale Cozzolino, a well-known Neapolitan chef transplanted in New York, guarantees it to Forbes. Chef Cozzolino offers the American pages his idea about the basis of every taste of our home. Wet the stale bread with oil, only on one side! And then toast it for a few moments in a hot pan. Here is his majesty: the bruschetta (New Yorkers pronounce it bruscieta): just season it to taste- with tomatoes, dried or fresh, aubergines, cheese, anchovy, or even just oil and oregano – and the stress, bite after bite, will go into crumbs .