Entertaining Italian-Style

Angela Traversa shares her knowledge on how to set a table Italian-style

She Reports

Entertaining Italian-Style

What we found on Italy’s tables during a recent trip

-Angela Traversa, reporting from Alessandria, Italy

Traversa tableWe Italians love to cook with seasonal ingredients, and the same holds true for when we decorate the table too. Instead of a centerpiece of expensive hot-house flowers, I like to create them using fruits, nuts, and greens that are in season during the winter.

I recently catered a buffet for a couple’s 25th anniversary and made two fun centerpieces, which you can easily copy.

For one, decorate a fresh pineapple with kumquats, lychee nuts, gooseberries, and dates (attach them to the pineapple with toothpicks); top with a few feathers and place onto a raised fruit dish. Set in the middle of the table, not only is it eye-catching and festive, but it’s dessert, too!

For the second centerpiece, decorate a foam cone (available in craft stores or floral shops) with chestnuts and leaves; top with feathers and a candle, if you like.

Other simple touches that add Italian flair:

-Huge or odd-shaped bread is a stunning table decoration. Don’t be afraid to buy big. (You can always slice and freeze it for another time after it’s served its decorative purpose!)

-Use fresh herbs and fruit to decorate serving platters, like rosemary under a cheese wheel.

-Dim the lights and use lots of candles, both tiny and tall ones – the food and guests will both glow!

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