Antipasto is as iconic to Italian cooking as pizza and pasta, but unlike other dishes, it has no fixed definition. In fact, antipasto can consist of a whole variety of foods, separate or combined in a platter. Antipasto is closest in meaning to the English appetizer or the French hors d’oeuvres, and refers to a small plate served at the beginning of a meal. Antipasto is designed to set the tone for the coming meal–it can be simple or complex, hot or cold, large or small. All that’s required is that the portions are bite-sized and served before the main course. You can find all kinds of antipasto dishes on our menu, but in the meantime, Salerno’s Pizza has everything you need to know about antipasto platters in the guide below. Read on, then stop by one of our locations near Oak Park to try it for yourself!
There’s no one answer to this question, just as there’s no one type of appetizer in American or English cooking. Italy has a wide variety of different cuisines, with different kinds of antipasti for each, but we can roughly pare it down to northern, central, and southern cooking.
Northern Italy, which includes cities like Milan and Venice, features antipasti such as fennel, Alpine cheeses, sausages, olives, polenta, and pesto. Central Italian antipasti, hailing from cities like Rome and Florence, includes smoked salmon, eggplant, crostini, and salami. Southern Italy, comprising cities like Naples and Palermo, includes artichokes, anchovies, bruschetta, Romano cheese, and the famous caprese salad on its antipasto platters.
No matter what kind of cuisine your antipasto platter hails from, there are always a few common denominators that show up in almost every platter:
If you’re out at an Italian restaurant in the Bolingbrook area, you might see either “antipasto” or “antipasti” on the menu. If you’re wondering about the difference between the two terms, the truth is there really isn’t one! Antipasto is the singular term (an antipasto), while antipasti refers to the collective or plural (a platter with different kinds of antipasti). If you’re referring to a single appetizer, like a piece of cheese or bread, call it an antipasto. If you’re referring to the whole platter or multiple appetizers, call it antipasti.