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What to bring to an apéro? 20 ideas

PUBLISHED: 14:35 25 April 2012 | UPDATED: 16:22 30 April 2012

apéro

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L'apéro or "aperitif" is a French institution. Scary for some, exciting for others, it is a perfect insight into french culture.

There are 3 ways to have an apro.

First, it can be just a drink before a meal, at the restaurant. As in: Monsieur prendra un apritif?.

Second, it can be a few drinks + a few snacks, at a friends house. As in: Tu viens prendre lapro la maison?

Third, it can constitute a full dinner. Understand: quite informal but there will be so much food you wont be able to eat dinner. This is called apritif dnatoire.

Good news, youre invited to an apro dnatoire by the neighbours. Theyve invited other friends as well.

What will you bring? Excellent question. You have to bring something. And something raffin. Do not even think of a box of gteaux apro or a bottle of Coca-Cola!

Tip: avoid supermarkets. Find a producteur local" or une picerie fine". The piceries fines you will find in big cities are Lafayette Gourmet, Comtesse Du Barry, Fauchon and Hdiard.

According to the number of guests, pick a few choices in this list of 20 ideas.

Charcuterie:

1) a good saucisson sec: fum (smoked), aux noisettes (with nuts), aux champignons (with mushrooms)...

2) charcuterie italienne: jambon sec, mortadelle, salami, coppa...

3) charcuterie suisse: viande des grisons

Cheese:

4) a tte de moine: ask your fromager to prepare it. He will make little flowers out of each slice. This should impress your hosts.

5) classic cheese in slices: a Beaufort dalpages, a Comt, a Tomme (de brebis ou de vache)

6) a few fromages frais enrobs: herbes, fruits secs, paprika...

Bread and something to put on it:

7) a pain de campagne tranch (sliced) from the boulangerie

8) a pain aux crales: pain de mas, pain de seigle, pain viking (black bread)

9) a pain fourr: pain aux lardons, pain aux olives, pain loignon...

10) a bote de tapenade (pureed olives)

11) a bote de rillettes (pt)

12) a terrine (pt)

13) a caviar daubergines (pureed eggplant)

14) a foie gras and its confiture de figue

Alcohol:

15) a bottle of Muscat

16) a bottle of wine: go to Nicolas, they will advise you.

17) bottles of beer: either local or Belgian. Well, any good foreign one, but not Heineken!

Non-alcoholic drink:

18) locally produced apple juice

19) Smoothie Innocent

20) a bottle of organic limonade

Tip 1: Dont forget to cure-dents (toothpicks)!

Tip 2: Dont bring anything that needs cooking!

Bon apro!

Graldine Lepre

Graldine Lepre is the creator of Comme une Franaise, a blog for expat women in France. See www.commeunefrancaise.com

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