Antipasti, the Italian starters part of traditional Tuscan cuisine!

May 22, 2014  |  Food & Wine

Antipasti buffet (starters) at Villa le Barone

 Tuscan dinners at Villa le Barone start with a wonderful buffet of traditional Italian starters: “antipasti” in Italian, a must in Tuscan cuisine. Enjoy regional salamis, platters of colorful fresh salads, pickled or dried vegetables ….

Antipasti (or antipasto) are the traditional Tuscan and Italian starters and appetizers before a delicious meal. It seems that they appeared for the first time at the end of the 16th century and their name obviously comes from the Italian “ante” (before) and “pasto” (meal).
The presentation of antipasti, their colors, their artful composition, the care taken in their preparation, reminds guests that dinner is a time for pleasure and for relaxation. Antipasti awaken the palate for the meal that is to follow. They are usually cold, but sometimes, in particular in autumn and early spring, they also contain warm starters.
What will you find at Villa le Barone’s “antipasti” buffet?
Of course you will find many types of cured meats, “Salumi”, such as mortadella, paper-thin slices of prosciutto, finocchiona (a soft salame with fennel seeds) and many others …
Crostini (canapés) are evidently present.  The chicken liver pâté crostini, known as crostini di fegatini, or crostini toscani (Tuscan crostini) may not be the prettiest dish, but like most traditional Tuscan dishes, the focus is on flavor. The “bruschetta”, consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper (quite a treat and you will be able to learn how to do it at Fernanda’s cooking course!) ; and the “crostini”  with mushrooms are also quite good!

Starters (Antipasti ) at Villa le Barone

Preserved and pickled vegetables, such as peppers, artichokes, black or green olives, onions and sun-dried tomatoes, are also on the starters‘table of the boutique hôtel Villa le Barone.
Some antipasti are warm, such as the fried fennel, egg plants, or zucchini’s flowers. Others are cold, in particular for the warmer seasons: Insalata Caprese is a particularly refreshing antipasto, consisting of mozzarella and tomato with some capers, in alternating slices, topped with fresh basil leaves and the eco-labeled extra-virgin olive oil of our own production…and, of course, there are also green salads, cucumber, grated carrot.
Antipasto also involves cheese. There is always the Pecorino Toscano, seasoned or fresh, produced with sheep’s milk at “Podere Paterno”, a small shepherd in Maremma, close to our Fattoria (Farm)  Vecchienna.  And there is also the Parmigiano Reggiano, delicious cow’s milk cheese that is aged for at least a year, the “Taleggio cheese” and the famous Gorgonzola!
Villa le Barone’s antipasti table is a pleasure for the eyes as for the taste … and after these wonderful appetizers, the main dishes are coming, served at your table … Authentic traditional Tuscan cuisine at the countryside boutique hotel Villa le Barone!


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