The tradition of aperitivo in the Netherlands

The aperitivo on an Italian day is the time between la passeggiata and la cena, a moment to relax with friends. During the aperitivo, you celebrate being together with friends, getting in the spirit for la cena: dinner. You enjoy a beautiful glass of prosecco, a colourful Aperol Spritz or another tasty drink, accompanied by lots of delicious snacks. L'aperitivo is also gaining popularity in the Netherlands, but hasn't completely broke through yet.

History of l'aperitivo
The tradition of having a drink with a range of little snacks started in the bars and cafés of Milan in the twentieth century. Similarly, the tradition has been around for a long time in Turin, Venice and Florence. The aperitivo as a lifestyle quickly spread to the rest of Italy and has now been around for many years in the entire country. The choice of snacks is sometimes so big that you can almost skip dinner, especially for the Dutch who aren't used to eating that much.
The snacks range from pieces of focaccia, riso, small sandwiches to pasta salad, and from chips and nuts to arancini, free of charge if you order an alcoholic drink during l'aperitivo. The price is usually around ten euros.

Aperitivo at home
Unfortunately, the tradition of aperitivo hasn't really reached the Netherlands yet. Even though the large patios, which are often warmed by heaters nowadays, are an excellent location for this concept. Bars are often also large enough to accommodate an aperitivo inside, if the weather is bad. Which, by the way, is quite often the case in Italy as well. Luckily, it is not hard to organise an aperitivo at your home. With a good wine or an Aperol Spritz (link to recipe previous blog) and some snacks, we can have a happy gathering at home ourselves.

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