To celebrate an event or simply for friendship - Apèro (“Aperitivo” or “Apericena” in Italian) is a way to bring people together with a smile, at end of the day, to enjoy food and drinks together.
In the 1700s, it was believed that the perfect combination of herbs and alcohol would open the stomach and stimulate appetite. Bitter aperitif (e.g. Negroni, Ramazzotti) were served in Cafes for this purpose and then became the routine as a pre-dinner drink, accompanied with food. In Italy, Italians tend to eat dinner late –– between 8 and 9PM and aperitivo has always filled that gap between the time after work at 6PM and going home. Aperitivo became the way to tide the stomach over until dinner time.
While aperitivo is more about the drinks, either a cocktail, beer or wine, apericena is basically the perfect middle ground between the aperitivo and cena (which means “dinner” in Italian) or to fully replace the dinner with a light meal in the evening.
The origin of Apericena is partly in north Italian cities such as Milan and Turin, with large student communities. Because many students didn’t have the time to head home for dinner between lectures, studies and evening meetups, or were lacking the budget to eat out at restaurants, bars began to offer apericena in the form of buffets with homemade hot and cold dishes and drinks at a convenient price. The cost for an Apero normally would range from a few euros to up to 20-25€ for the most sophisticated Aperos and include a menu à discretion and one drink. The trend caught on quickly, and now apericena can be found in any Italian city.
Italians have developed a long Apero tradition with food changing from region to region. The Mediterranean baseline of olives and olive oil, tomatoes and some classic cheese remains the same across all of Italy. Going towards the coast, fish-based appetizers become more common, while they disappear towards the mountains, where cured meats prevail instead.
One of the most popular Apero is served in the Venetian region (Veneto), where you can find the famous Cicchetti; these include sandwiches and a range of traditional food, such as local stockfish, presented in similar way as Tapas. The Roman Apero is also well known for its “suppi” (deep fried rise balls filled with mozzarella and tomato sauce), the traditional pizza bianca e mortazza (white salty pizza with mortadella) and the most modern Trapezzino, a pizza in triangular shape filled with Roman toppings. These specialities are both enjoyed as street food as well as tasty Apero.
A glass of Prosecco, white wine, or beer are normally enjoyed with a good Apero, as well as cocktails like Apero Spritz.
Beers are just great with Aperos.
The bitterness and aroma of the hops are very suitable for preparing the stomach. Bubbles give a refreshing feeling and basically every beer style can be paired with Apero food. At Fermento Brewery, we have proved that beer is a valid modern alternative to wine when it is about pairing with food.
Weizen beers are perfect for several fish appetizers including deep fried or cocktail shrimps and several soft cheeses, including mozzarella.
Blonde beers are also perfect in combination with soft cheese (e.g., goat) and caprese (mozzarella and tomatoes) served as appetizers. Of course, Pilsner is a classic in combination with BBQ meat and for the super - popular green olives and dried tomatoes.
Amber beers are also very suitable and highly recommended with Swiss hard cheese, e.g., Gruyere and Bergkäse, or gourmet salami and ham. Furthermore, Amber is perfect with Pizza e Mortazza, served as appetizer, and with shrimps in tomato sauce.
Similarly, stout beers are great with grilled and smoked meat or hard cheese, such as Gruyere or Cheddar. Combining stouts with oysters is a classic of the Irish tradition. Stout is highly recommendable as an alternative to the classic Champagne.
To appreciate beer - food pairing at its best, we recommend to always drink craft beers, where breweries keep a strong focus on flavour and aroma, rather than settling for a neutral taste.
Fermento Brewery beers are brewed with a specific focus on taste. We also believe that great beers deserve great food, and we propose optimal food and beer pairing that go beyond the classic pub offers. Follow us on the journey: our recommendation on beer and food pairing and our updates on Facebook and Instagram.