For countries like Italy, Portugal or Spain, the custom of eating a small ‘piscolabis‘ before lunch or dinner is common. However, many do not know why this practice occurs. Today we want to tell you the story of this typical custom of Mediterranean countries.

Although the origin is undetermined and varies from country to country, one of the explanations can be found in the 5th century BC. It was the famous Hippocrates, physician and philosopher, who started this social gathering when he created a bitter drink based on macerated wine that he used before meals to reopen the stomach.

But the fact that it became a social and gastronomic custom occurred when the practice of vermouth began in Italy. Vermouth is served as an appetizer, and although it started in Italy, it is becoming more and more common in different countries thanks to its fame.

Since the end of the 18th century, Antonio and Beneditto Carpano invented in Milan an aromatic wine which they called vermouth. Its function was similar to that of Hippocrates’ wine: to stimulate the appetite before a large meal.

Little by little it was introduced in the Mediterranean countries and adapted to their customs (the diversity of their gastronomy, the time when they eat…). Thus, today it has become more than just food or drink and is already a sign of identity and lifestyle of these countries.

Do you join the fashion of the appetizer?