Saturday, February 20, 2010
In France it's out, in Italy it's "in", and it's a cultural trend that I think should be done in the States. In Italy, the gesture of getting an aperitivo(which is actually what you call the drink) is the cultural way of cooling off the past weeks steam and relaxing with friends, sharing laughs over a glass of wine (or two) or rather with a spritz ( Northern Italian cocktail). Someone could easily say, "well, hey, we do the same thing too, it's called Happy Hour", yeah, but the only difference between the States' "happy hour" and an Italian aperitivo is that an italian aperitivo isn't going to have pitchers of beer, deep friend cheese and nachos while having a game on in the background. Rather it's going to be at a chic restaurant or a bar where there will be a few munchies, such as, local cheeses and meats, olives, and sometimes if you're lucky like on Sunday's, a nice little taste of pasta prepared by the locale (restaurant). Bottom line, the purpose is not about the food (in fact, sometimes there isn't much food being served) it's rather about enjoying a glass of wine with company and then going after to get an actual meal, which can be enjoyed and not enhailed. Since being back and forth between the two countries, the Italian aperitivo has always been something that I've wanted to start in the States, like a new trend or something. Unfortunately it's an idea that seems brilliant while I'm in Italy, like one of those super-successful money maker ideas where I would be the owner of "the cute and elegant European-style bar, the hot-spot to be on Friday nights". But once I'm back in the States and see how people are so fixed in their ways of "bigger is better", time is money, and Franzia, my wonderful trendy idea is shot and I'm back to drinking wine in my kitchen with a bowl of olives and stinky cheese.