Appetizers: Stellar First Impressions

Start the Party With Appetizers

Appetizers are finger foods served as a preliminary in multi-course meals, between multiple courses, or as snacks and accompaniments to libations during special occasions, according to

Starters and hors d'oeuvres are other names for appetizers. There are also many different types of appetizers, such as

  • Canapes
  • Tapas (Spanish)
  • Mezze (Mediterranean)
  • Primi piatti (Italian appetizers or first courses)

Equally Appetizing Hot or Cold

Appetizers can be cold or hot. Well known examples of cold or room temperature appetizers include:

  • Deviled eggs
  • Sushi
  • Raw oysters
  • Gravlax
  • Pâté or Italian spuma
  • Sliced terrine
  • Blini with caviar
  • Apple sandwiches

Similarly, the following hot appetizers are also perennially popular:

  • Crostini and bruschetta
  • Pigs in a blanket
  • Pasta (as a primo)
  • Kebabs
  • Oysters Casino
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Grilled wrapped/stuffed figs

Appetizers vs. Hors D'oeuvres

Although professionals, foodies, and laypeople use many different names for appetizers interchangeably, each type of appetizer has its own unique connotations. "Appetizers" implies first courses (primi piatti) of a meal and finger foods served to guests at a party.

Similarly, "hors d'oeuvres" and "canapes" refer to the types of appetizers that might circulate at a cocktail party. Think fresh ingredients piled atop fancy crackers or small toasted slices of artisanal bread.

"Mezze" and "tapas" are close cousins. Traditionally, they appear on platters alongside wine or beer; giving diners a little taste of this and that. Instead of preceding a meal, mezze and tapas served in large quantities are potentially a full meal consisting of appetizers.

Recipes For: Appetizers

Most cookbooks contain appetizer recipes. Every cuisine has its own fair share, and each chef reinterprets classics or invents new appetizers that reflect fashionable ingredients and techniques.

When searching for appetizers, consider the type of event to serve them at, the level of difficulty preparation entails, and the type of corresponding cuisine. DIY chefs like Ina Garten and Ree Drummond tend to produce easy-to-follow, delicious recipes geared at the everyday cook.

Classically trained chefs, such as Alain Ducasse or Daniel Boulud, are more likely to churn out appetizer recipes that are more suited technically to seasoned professionals with advanced skills and access to professional-grade product.

Top 5 Routes for "Appetizers"

  1. Williams Sonoma is a leading source of cookware and cook's tools. The website doubles as an extensive free online recipe library. Clips Recipe Search under Recipes on the homepage to get started
  2. Channel your inner belle or beau with the handy, easy, scrumptious appetizer recipes on this welcoming website. This website has thousands, and they reflect the south's culinary diversity as well as the whole country's. Keyword searches using ingredients or flavors typically yield thousands of appetizer recipe results.
  3. Like the previous entry, this website is the online home of a popular magazine by the same name. Taste of Home is specifically about food, so recipes dominate its virtual pages. Click Recipes by Course under Recipes to access the Appetizers library.
  4. As its name implies, this website features recipes containing ingredients that Kraft produces. All of the ingredients are easy to substitute, so this website easily doubles as a vast free library of quick, down-to-earth classic appetizers. The appetizers here are most of the cocktail and tailgater party type, such as cheese platters, dips, fritters, and Tex-Mex.
  5. Stewart is everybody's favorite cooking teacher and famous neighbor. Her website encompasses the simple and everyday to the very fancy and unique. Her online library of appetizers echoes this spectrum. Browse a wide selection of recipes from Stewart, her late mother, friends, and celebrity chefs.

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