Two nights ago the students participating in the Food Studies Program’s core course on the History and Culture of Food in Italy had their first cu-curricular food workshop. These workshops, each focused on a particular food or beverage, pr
ovide a historical background and seek to contextualize the food product in Italian culture. The subject of this first workshop was the aperitivo, an Italian pre-dinner meeting where friends sit down to a small drink and finger foods. Though heir to a long tradition of “opening” (aperitivo is from the Latin verb aperire, “to open”) the stomach with a bitter concoction, modern-day aperitivo drinks are less murky black elixirs of yore and more likely to be outrageous neon colors. Campari, queen of aperitivo liqueurs, is an excellent example. The workshop was the first in a series, which include cheese, olive oil, and gelato.