Monday, 21 November 2011

The Love of Antipasti

Michelangelo’s, “The Creation of Adam”, inside the Sistine Chapel.
Next on our list of famous sights to see in Rome, was the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. We followed the masses of tourists who were also heading toward the Vatican and once we were there it was truly amazing. The Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is probably the only thing we’ve seen that compares to the sight of the Vatican City. As we made our way inside the chapel, we decided to tackle the 551 steps to the top of the dome which over looks the square and Rome. When we reached the top, the sight was everything that we had hoped for. A 360 degree view over all of Rome. After taking many photos, we made our way back down and took a short walk around the Vatican City to the Sistine Chapel. We were excited about seeing the famous paintings by Michelangelo, and by far the most famous, “The Creation of Adam”. As we made our way through to the Sistine Chapel we were amazed at the size and volume of all the paintings, every inch of the chapel was painted to depict many famous moments in time. As we made our way through the crowd, we got to the centre of the chapel and looked straight up, and there, in the centre of the ceiling was the painting we’d all come to see. So after a busy afternoon, it was that time again, time to eat and have a cocktail. After having lots of pizza and pasta on our first day, we were keen to explore some other Italian food, particularly antipasti.

Aside from the amazing pizza and pasta that there is to eat in Italy, it’s important not to forget about the other classic Italian dish, Antipasti. Usually before any meal, it’s normal to order a selection of cold meats, olives and cheese. When Cara and I went out to eat, we were sometimes served these dishes without even ordering them, free of charge. Prosciutto is by far the most popular of the cold meats featured on a standard antipasti dish. Prosciutto is the ham of either a pig or wild boar. It usually comes from the thigh or the hind leg of the animal. The meat is finely cut, cleaned and well salted, then left to age for a time ranging from 9 months to 2 years. The result is a delicious, soft, salty and chewy meat which falls apart and melts in your mouth.  Along with the cold meats, often come a selection of olives, cheeses and lots of bread. Every meal we ate we nearly lost our appetites due to the amount of antipasti dishes served before the main meal.  After our busy day, I was keen for a nice refreshing beer to go with our antipasti. I decided to order one of the beer cocktails that were on offer. The “Peach Lager” was a beer cocktail which consisted of fresh peach puree, peach schnapps and cointreau and topped up with Peroni. Peroni lager is by far the most popular beer in Italy. This beer concoction was sweet and refreshing. The puree made the drink quite heavy in texture, but it was still a definite thirst quencher after another long day exploring Rome.

“Peach Lager Beer Cocktail”
In a pint glass:
30ml Peach Schnapps
15ml Cointreau
45ml Peach puree
Topped with Lager

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