Appetizer recipes (Antipasti in Italian) usually are considered very appetizing and welcomed. Maybe because you are hungry, but they are the dishes you eat with more gusto while dining. Appetizers (or starters) are the first dishes that are served during lunch or dinner. They can also be defined dishes that precede the main course. Generally, the choice of starters is based on the type of dishes that will follow them. For this reason it’s necessary to distinguish two main categories: those based on meat, vegetables or salami (antipasto di terra) and those based on fish and seafood (antipasto di mare).
The so-called Italian-style appetizer, in the most classic form, is based on cured meats like ham, salami, bresaola, coppa and culatello, accompanied with pickled vegetables such as artichokes, mushrooms, cucumbers and onions.
A more international alternative is made up of shrimp bowls, fish shells, shellfish such as lobster and spider crab, oysters, smoked salmon and sturgeon.
Completely different is the appetizer recipes paired with the aperitif served standing before taking a seat at the table. Practicality and common sense require the choice of small assorted samples – hot or cold – that can be taken with the fingers and eaten in one or two mouthfuls: as canapés, croutons, canapés, savory puffs and mixed pizzas. In any case, the appetizers must be presented and tasted in a wisely limited quantity so that the guests will appreciate more the courses that follow.