Serve one or two slices per person of three of the following meats. Fold or roll up the slices for easier serving.
MORTADELLA: a specialty of Emilia-Romagna large, mildly spiced smooth-textured pork sausage, with chunks of fat and sometimes pistachios.
PROSCIUTTO: from all over Italy (the best-known here is from Parma or San Daniele in Friuli- Venezia Giulia) a whole pork leg cured with salt.
CAPOCOLLO: from all over Italy cured pork shoulder, can be either mild or spiced with hot pepper.
SALAMI: from all over Italy usually ground pork, though other meats may be used, with various spices and seasonings including black peppercorns, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, wine. There are many different varieties.
SOPRESSATA: from all over Italy a large, wide salame made of coarsely ground lean pork and pork fat, flavored with black peppercorns, or crushed red pepper, salt, and red wine.
PEPPERONI: in North America, a long, thin dried sausage made of coarsely ground pork with either black peppercorns or crushed red pepper. In Italy, the word peperoni means bell peppers, not a dried hot sausage.
Serve one wedge of one variety of cheese. Buy cheeses in large chunks and cut them into wedges for serving. Look for aged cheeses imported from Italy.
PROVOLONE: from all over Italy. Do not use the bland, sliced variety. Imported provolone is sharp and slightly smoky-flavored.
YOUNG PECORINO: mostly from central and southern Italy semifirm and mild to sharp in flavor, depending on the variety and origin.
FRESH OR SMOKED MOZZARELLA: mild, soft and creamy can be either salted or unsalted. Fresh mozzarella should be very moist and eaten the same day that it is made. Smoked mozzarella is drier, with smoky flavor and firmer texture.
RICOTTA SALATA: a pressed and salted version of ricotta, mild, firm, and crumbly.
PICKLES AND VEGETABLES
One or two varieties of the following preserved vegetables should be sufficient. marinated artichokes, mushrooms, or dried tomatoes. hot or mild vinegar peppers or peperoncini. giardiniera: mixed pickled vegetables (see Salads).
Decorate the platter with anchovy fillets, sliced tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, lettuce or radicchio, and carrot and celery sticks.
From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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