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John Kelly
Need a hostess gift when invited to dinner? The Times' S. Irene Virbila has a few ideas
Need a hostess gift when invited to dinner? The Times' S. Irene Virbila has a few ideas

When I spent some months in Venice, Italy, years ago, my friend Paolo would show up at dinner parties with prosciutto. I'm not talking about a paper packet of sliced ham but a whole prosciutto di San Daniele, the famous ham from Friuli, cured with the foot on. The host would hand him a glass of Prosecco, he'd pull his well-traveled prosciutto out of the bag and proceed to carve off slices as his contribution to the cicchetti (antipasti) spread. Brilliant. And after, it would go home with him to be trotted out for the next dinner party. It's only polite when you're invited to dinner to ask whether you can bring something. When I'm giving a dinner party, I'm...

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