Tips to create a wow effect in your holiday antipasti/appetizer menu
Posted by Gail on 01/11/2018

Tips to create a wow effect in your holiday antipasti/appetizer menu

I will share some tips to help you create a wow factor for your holiday antipasti/appetizer menu

Antipasti means appetizer and consists of small bites of intense flavor….so the first rule is to use the best products. If you cannot fly to Italy to shop for your favorite products….do the next best thing! Buy authentic Italian salumi from Terra di Siena USA. Buy the Tuscan tradition for your special gifts.
The meats are the important base for the charcuterie plate and the rest of your selections. The Terra di Siena USA products do not have preservatives or fillers, only meat from free range animals, selected spices, and time in the right humidity and temperature. By the way, a gift basket of artisan salami from Terra di Siena USA is a perfect gift for friends and family who love to entertain. A special gift for mom. Send it early in the holiday season with a gift card from you. They will thank you.
Next, consider the combinations of products to add to the meat, based on what you like and the size of your charcuterie plate. This list can include olives, marinated artichokes/vegetables, artisan bread pieces, crackers, Italian cheeses, dried tomatoes or apricots, halved figs, grape clusters, melon, clementine orange sections, honey, walnuts and pear slices. You can be creative here…but always attempt to find the freshest and vine ripened products to be your guide in selecting what to offer on your plate. If you do not have access to ripe figs or oranges, for example, then select high quality dried fruits, olives, marinated vegetables, and nuts and honey instead.
Select a simple plate or cutting board large enough for the products you intend to serve. Olive wood is beautiful and practical for this purpose and features the displays Italian theme. Otherwise, a white platter is good. You can even do vertical presentations with layered serving dishes if space is a problem.
You can assemble the charcuterie plate up to several hours ahead of time and then keep covered in the refrigerator. If you are not using pre-sliced products, you will need a sharp knife to cut your own slices of the whole meats as thinly as possible. Whole salamis or loins will have a casing that should be removed. Use the tip of a sharp knife to remove the casing for as much of the meat as you intend to use, then slice the piece into thin layers. Because there are no fillers in the Terra di Siena USA products, you will notice the slices to cut in a different way than meat that has binders. The meat is a little more “crumbly” but you will not have problems with a properly sharpened knife. This is the mark of a biologic salami. Prosciutto often comes pre sliced, but if not, cut in very fine slices. The white fat on prosciutto adds a sweet balance to the saltiness of the meat, so don’t remove it.
Add the thinly sliced meats to the other products, arranging in small groupings of color and texture that are pleasant to the eye. Garnish the plate with rosemary sprigs, basil leaves or fennel tops….and presto…you have an attractive and tasty centerpiece for your guests.

Please send photos of your finished Charcuterie Plates! We will display them on our website with your recommendations for the Wow Factor!!
Posted in: Tips