The word antipasto is derived from the Italian ante, which means ‘before’ and pasto which means ‘meal’.
Antipasto is traditionally a selection of hot or cold appetisers served at the beginning of and Italian meal.
The most typical antipasti (plural) items could include various table olives, cheese, pickled vegetables, cured meats, salamis, cold fish, frittata, fresh or sun dried tomatoes and anchovies.
In most of the regional areas of Italy, antipasto will consist of vegetable and meat items, but on the coastal areas you would encounter more seafood, such as marinated calamari or baby octopus.
It is also quite common to find various dips and crispy bread products accompanying the selection, such as crostini, bruschetta or arancini.
Antipasto is found extensively in the modern restaurant scene, from coffee shops to cellar doors and brasseries all over the world.
It is commonplace to find people of all cultures and nationalities relaxing on a Saturday afternoon at their favourite haunt, sipping wine and sampling the culinary delights of the antipasto platter.
Try some of these ideas
Instalata alla caprese – Slices of vine-ripened tomato, topped with feta cheese, dressed with extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil leaves and ground black pepper.
Giardiniera – A mixture of raw chopped carrots, green beans, cauliflower, capsicum and caper berries, which are marinated in vinegar.
Table olives – marinated in olive oil, garlic and fresh thyme.