Behind the Gram: The Apericena

toasted bread for bruschetta

If you’ve been following my Instagram, you’ll know that lately I’ve been posting with the hashtag #italychallenge. I’ve been participating in this challenge which is sponsored by Italy Project 365. A challenge to get us expats and lovers of Italy out of our comforts zones, explore and reconnect the love affair we once had with our fair country.

Week 7 was all about the Aperitivo. What is an Aperitivo you ask? Well simply put, it’s the Italian version of Happy Hour…. but better! In the States, you have discounted drinks and if you’re lucky some chips or nuts. Obviously you purchase a meal and that may or may not be discounted as well.  In Italy, it’s taken one level better. Drinks vary in prices but are generally around 5 euros. With this amount, you also get access to a small buffet of snacks. Chips, nuts, pizza etc..

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Apericena at La Salumeria- Torino

Now I may be biased or maybe haven’t done enough research but word on the street (and by street I mean the internet) is that Torino put the Apericena on the map! The Apericena is twice as nice as the Aperitivo. Why? For 7-10 euros, you have an enormous buffet to compliment your drink. Meats, pastas, fresh veggies.. and probably a bread and Nutella station! A lot of people like to choose an Apericena over an actual dinner because you can get a variety of foods. This is especially nice in the hot summer months when you really don’t want to stuff your face with a big meal. It’s also nice to be able to sit out in the open air, enjoying the view and mingling with friends. Often you might see a few kids running around and that’s all good and well but the problem with that is that you DO have to pay 7-10 euros for their drinks as well. That’s not exactly budget friendly for a family with 3 small kids who might will spill their drinks, not eat enough to off set costs, and would rather play than eat.

grilled carrots and zucchini

So, how do you enjoy an Apericena in the comfort of your home? You create one.. using leftovers. One night while deciding on our menu for the week, I wanted to use up our leftovers but didn’t actually want to eat them again the same way. (does that make sense) So, while day dreaming about our favorite spot, La Salumeria, I thought back on all of the deliciousness we enjoyed. I made some bruschetta, bought some prosciutto and cheese then reheated our leftovers. It was such a fun way to spend a Saturday night at home. The girls got to eat and watch movies in their room while the hubby and I ate in the kitchen. We loved it so much that it is now our go-to Saturday night dinner.

The great thing about this at home Apericena is that you don’t need to have a lot of everything. The idea is to eat a little of everything. So if you have just enough for one serving, use it. If you have a few slices of meat left, use it. Just empty our your fridge from the weeks leftovers, and add some potato chips, pop corn or anything else you like. This is also one of the few times we let the girls have cokes. (in Texas, we call all carbonated drinks ‘Coke’.. even if it’s an Orange soda) It’s a great way to save money (hopefully) as well as feel as if you’re out in the Piazza enjoying the night. (but without the annoying mosquitos biting you!)

-at home Apericena- prosciutto & melone, grilled veggies, green beans, bruschetta, salame, prosciutto cotto, spaghetti & pesto, mozzarella di bufala.


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