What to bring to an ap�ro? 20 ideas
L’ap�ro 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 ap�ro.
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First, it can be just a drink before a meal, at the restaurant. As in: “Monsieur prendra un ap�ritif?”.
Second, it can be a few drinks + a few snacks, at a friend’s house. As in: “Tu viens prendre l’ap�ro � la maison?”
Third, it can constitute a full dinner. Understand: quite informal but there will be so much food you won’t be able to eat dinner. This is called “ap�ritif d�natoire”.
Good news, you’re invited to an ap�ro d�natoire by the neighbours. They’ve 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 “g�teaux ap�ro” 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 H�diard.
According to the number of guests, pick a few choices in this list of 20 ideas.
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
4) a “t�te 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 d’alpages, a Comt�, a Tomme (de brebis ou de vache)
6) a few fromages frais enrob�s: 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 c�r�ales”: pain de ma�s, pain de seigle, pain viking (black bread)
9) a pain fourr�: pain aux lardons, pain aux olives, pain � l’oignon...
10) a “bo�te de tapenade” (pureed olives)
11) a “bo�te de rillettes” (p�t�)
12) a “terrine” (p�t�)
13) a “caviar d’aubergines” (pureed eggplant)
14) a “foie gras” and its “confiture de figue”
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!
18) locally produced apple juice
19) Smoothie Innocent
20) a bottle of organic limonade
Tip 1: Don’t forget to “cure-dents” (toothpicks)!
Tip 2: Don’t bring anything that needs cooking!
G�raldine Lep�re is the creator of Comme une Fran�aise, a blog for expat women in France. See www.commeunefrancaise.com