Do you have a ritual in your life, something you do that makes you feel good? I do. Two rituals set me in place. The first and most important is a spiritual ritual to start the day: my salute to the sun in the morning.
The other is Friday Fun – Tapas Chez Moi at 7:00 pm to celebrate a week of work. I prepare morsels of a variety of food cold and warm, finger food, cheese, breads and charcuterie board, all to accompany wines, bubbles, conversation and music. Some of my friends discover new food, some enjoy food their palates already know and the night evolves in a convivial gathering.
Aperitif is not a modern invention, I am only continuing the ancient Roman tradition to appreciate working brakes during the day and spend them with a fun activity: food, wines and company.
Today we have the bad habit of meeting people for lunch to talk about business, it is actually scheduled on purpose to save time and to pack as many possible appointments or activities in one day. Romans disliked talking business during apéritif time. They conducted business either patricians’ office-home, or while swimming in spring water and even in the sauna.
Let’s travel back in the Romans’ time and their taste, we might find some affinity to our fun apéritif of today. Apéritif in ancient Rome started around 4:00 pm with a “gustatio” a tasting of various small bites, as we do today, then a “cenula” dinner followed ending in a “comissatio” a type of debauchery, where one person was in charge of the guests drinking shifts, in other words, that person decided who was going to drink and who wasn’t. Sympathy or antipathy for a person guided his decisions, which invariably caused heated discussions among those guests who didn’t get the chance to have many rounds of drinks during the night. This “comissatio” fun drinking party went on until the small hours of the night in company of wines and complacent women.
One of the most favorite apéritif food was chicken in Salsa Apiciana with cumin and cilantro, all spices brought to Rome from the Middle East, a sign that Rome Empire was expanding in the Mediterranean Basin. Romans liked to drink spicy wines such as Paradoxum a wine flavored with ginger and laurel leaf and the Mulsum a wine flavored with honey. Romans concocted their own fun cocktails by mixing white wines with red wines, it’s almost as we mix our cocktails today.
Bread has been one of the staple food in every culture. Romans too had their own specialty bread the Libum, a type of sacred bread also used in wedding ceremony as a symbol and a good wish for the newlywed to break bread together forever.
It was a privilege to break bread with someone sitting at the dining table with the Romans. Today, breaking bread together has the same meaning. We would not dare to sit and eat with people we don’t like.
Catinus (bowls) and Patella (flat plate), crocks and clay for eating and drinking embellished the table of Romans.
More modern tableware embellish my Friday Fun table, my food is tied to my traditions and these in my gallery are some of the most popular food among my guests. Enjoy.
Copyright © 2016 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola is the designer who cooks. She has a deep interest in food that led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition, well-being and learning food of the world. She wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on color theory, in which she included one recipe for each color.
Robert Taitano, a friend and business associate of http://www.wine-fi.com says:
“Valentina – an International Professional Interior Designer is now giving you an opportunity to redesign your palate”.
Get your copy of Valentina’s books on