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What are Antipasti? The origin of Italian starters

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Oh, the antipasto… There’s no respectable Italian meal that isn’t preceded by some delicious antipasti. At La Mafia se sienta a la mesa, we have them, of course! And they’re undoubtedly one of the temptations on our menu.

We differentiate between antipasti DI SNACK, CALDI Y FREDI. Why not start with our fried pasta with smoked cheese and eggplant with orange sauce? Or perhaps you’d prefer a Carpaccio di bresaola with Grana Padano chunks, arugula, and focaccia sticks… Our mouths are watering! Before you run off to your nearest La Mafia se sienta a la mesa restaurant, let us explain the origin of these delicious Italian appetizers.

Antipasto de carpaccio de bresaola

Carpaccio di bresaola, one of the antipasti at La Mafia se sienta a la mesa

What does antipasto mean?

The Italian noun antipasto (plural, antipasti) comes from the Italian word “pasto,” which means meal. The antipasto consists of an appetizer served before the other courses (primo piatto, secondo piatto, and dolce), which can be served cold or hot. The purpose of the antipasto is not to satiate but to whet the appetite before the meal.

What is the origin of these Italian appetizers?

The history and tradition of serving food before the meal dates back to the Italian Renaissance, a time when antipasti and postpasti were served. Before the antipasti, guests were usually offered “aguamanos,” or water flavored with flowers. Among the antipasti were prosciutto with capers, tongue ham, and even marzipan-like sweets.

The most classic and common antipasti are of two kinds: on the one hand, dishes made from meat in the form of cold cuts, which are usually served sliced, cheeses, and finally, roasted vegetables and pickles. In many cases, a mixture of both ingredients is served on a plate on the menu, which includes a selection of antipasto, similar to what is understood in Spanish gastronomy as “various appetizers,” which a few decades ago started any family banquet in Spain.

At La Mafia se sienta a la mesa, we offer it to you as the “Tuscan charcuterie board,” a delicious combination of focaccia sticks, pesto sauce, bresaola, pepperoni, speck, porchetta, rested tomato, a mixture of lettuces, nuts, and Grana Padano chunks that you won’t be able to resist. Don’t forget that it’s perfect for sharing!

How are antipasti usually served in Italian restaurants?

To accompany antipasti, it’s customary to serve various breads such as focaccia or grissini, as well as bruschettas. We have those too! We firmly believe in quality and traditional cooking based on simple recipes with the best ingredients. Our bread is no exception! That’s why we make it with 100% natural sourdough.

Pan para acompañar los antipasti

La Mafia se sienta a la mesa bread, made with 100% natural sourdough

And after the antipasti, discover our pastas, pizzas, meatballs, crepes, salads, risottos, and meat and fish dishes. An exciting trip to Italy without leaving your city.