How to arrange an ‘apericena’

When it comes to arranging an informal gathering with friends or relatives, an ‘apericena’ is certainly an excellent option.

More nourishing than an aperitif but more informal than a dinner, rather than eaten sitting at the table, it is usually served in the form of a buffet from which people can help themselves and then eat either sitting or standing, whatever they prefer.

Arranging an ‘apericena’ is a great way of celebrating a birthday or a special occasion, or even just enjoying a very informal and flexible little get-together.

How do you arrange an ‘apericena’ at home?

Let’s take a closer look and see what steps are involved in arranging an ‘apericena’ at home:

  • Get the house ready: preparing the table is certainly less of a hassle compared with hosting a proper dinner party; in fact, with an ‘apericena’ there is no need to set the table, all you need is a space to lay out the various dishes of the buffet.
  • Choose the right recipes: since it is a meal that is consumed standing, it is a good idea to choose foods that are easy to eat, ideally already portioned, and avoid overly-heavy foods; offering as much variety as possible is the key to any successful buffet.
  • Pay attention also to the drinks: an ‘apericena’ is half aperitif and half dinner, so offering cocktails that go with the food you’ll be serving is an essential aspect of any ‘apericena’.
‘Apericena’ bruschetta

Ideas and recipes for an ‘apericena’ menu

Food is without doubt one of the key elements on which to focus when arranging an ‘apericena’. So what should any buffet include?

It is good practice to diversify your dishes, in order to offer a nice variety of flavors. Another idea is to serve single-portion finger foods or in any case dishes that don’t require a table or a surface to lean on in order to be consumed because, even if you can sit down during an ‘apericena’, it is normal to eat standing or, at any rate, not at an assigned place at the table.

Here are a few ideas for your ‘apericena’:

  • Canapés: an absolute must, because they are easy to eat but also because they offer lots of opportunities to unleash your creativity when preparing them. Examples include this mix of mouth-watering appetizers with three delicious and original canapé ideas, or these piadina rolls, really tasty and easy to eat.
  • Platters: serving up a stunning mixed platter of cold meats and cheeses, perhaps accompanied by fresh fruit, jams, vegetables conserved in oil and sauces, is a really popular solution that also adds more color to your ‘apericena’ buffet. You can find a few ideas for what to put on your platter among the Carli Spreads and Cheeses.
  • Bruschetta bar: another ‘apericena’ solution and possible alternative to the more classic canapés and platters is a “bruschetta bar”, a little buffet area with dips, vegetables, pâtés and other individual little ingredients where guests can create their own perfect bruschetta. The more options you offer the more interesting the combinations of flavors that can be created. One ideal ingredient is our Sundried Tomato Spread, which can turn a piece of bread into something special. Don’t forget condiments like salt, pepper and Carli Extra Virgin Olive Oil Delicato, so your guests can add the final touches to their ideal bruschetta.
  • Finger food: another staple of any respectable ‘apericena’. Finger foods are small, individually portioned little snacks. They can range from more complex recipes served in little glasses or bowls for easy consumption, or simpler but equally delicious little tasters. One example of a perfect ‘apericena’ finger food is Carli Stuffed Red Chili in Oil, accompanied by a fresh lamb’s lettuce salad
  • Hot dishes: one common mistake when arranging an ‘apericena’ menu is that of serving only cold or room temperature dishes. Cold dishes are obviously easy to manage when it comes to preparing and setting up your buffet, but it is also a good idea to serve up a few hot dishes at a certain point, whether quiches, fried foods or first courses in the form of hot finger foods.
Bruschetta with ricotta and sundried tomatoes

How to prepare the house for an ‘apericena’

It is also important to prepare the house and ensure it is welcoming and suitable for an ‘apericena’. First of all, you need to know how many guests will participate: being a buffet, it might get quite crowded at the table if everyone decides to serve themselves at the same time. If you have lots of guests, it is good practice to have different food tables, so the flow of people at the buffet is more manageable.

Food tables can each have something different or all serve the same dish, so it makes no difference which one you head for.

It is also important to create areas with surfaces, so guests don’t have to spend the entire evening with their glass or plate in their hand.

An ‘apericena’ is a perfect way of hosting more guests and spending a pleasant evening chatting away over some delicious food. A great way of celebrating a special occasion or simply enjoying an informal get-together.