Appetizers are small servings of food and beverages which help in increasing the appetite slightly. An appetizer is usually served before the main meal. They are also known as hors d'œuvres and vary from country to country. The appetizers are snack items predominantly and cannot be too filling. The appetizer recipes often include the ways to prepare a bite sized appetizer along with the amuse bouche which are special types of appetizers selected by the chefs and cannot be chosen from a menu. The appetizers are often served along with cocktails or at a reception party. They may also be served to while away the time until all the guests arrive for a celebratory dinner. An appetizer frequently doubles up as an entrée dish particularly during a formal meal which includes several courses. The appetizer recipes can also comprise of finger foods that may be passed from one guest to the other on trays. Such appetizers are also known as butler style hors d'œuvres. An informal gathering may also consist of appetizers where they serve the purpose of a main dish as well. The antipasto is a popular variant of an appetizer that usually comes before a pasta meal in Italy.While the hors d'œuvres are usually considered to be adult food, a part organized for kids can consist of innovative appetizers entirely. While the savory snack items are a strong favorite as hors d'œuvres, small cupcakes or dessert items including fresh fruit can be served to whet up the appetite too.
History Of Appetizer Recipes
The first evidence of appetizer recipes could be recovered by tracing the Roman Greek culinary culture in the ancient times. Tiny morsels of fish, cheese, olives and seasoned vegetables were served as appetizers then while the grilled veal was prepared according to the appetizer recipes during the period of renaissance in Italy. The wealthy Frenchmen enjoyed a number of appetizers during the seventeenth century while a different kind of appetizer was served at the end of each course to refresh the palate in America. The term appetizers was coined in English at the beginning of 1860 in retaliation to the French appetizer recipes for hors d'œuvres but both the words began to be used at the close of the year 1890. Canapes and caviar on crackers was regarded as a kind of appetizer in the early nineteenth century with the French preferring raw oysters and clams instead of cooked food.
Popular Appetizer Recipes From Different Cuisines
Each culture has its own collection of favorite appetizer recipes which have evolved over the years according to the taste of the local population. The idea behind preparing an appetizer remains the same across the world even as the procedure for cooking it might differ from region to region. Some of the best known appetizers that have become popular are:-
Canapes- Considered to be a traditional appetizer of Europe, they are baked bases or puffed pastries spread with a miniscule amount of meat or vegetable. The entire concoction is then covered with cream, cheese or butter and garnished with sprigs of parsley or nuts. Popped into the mouth in one go these appetizers are also known as one-bite snacks.
• Crudites- A platter of raw vegetables served as appetizers. Traditionally a French dish, it consists of finely cut broccoli, cabbage and beetroots along with sticks of carrots and celery.
• Meze- One of the oldest appetizers known to man, they are prepared from meat and vegetables liberally garnished with fresh herbs. Originally prepared in Persia, the dish has gained popularity in the Mediterranean region.
• Tapas- A native dish of Spain, it is made with sea food in combination with olives and cheese.
• Zakuski- A hors d'œuvre of Russian origin, it consists of cured meat mixed with pickled vegetables. It is usually served with vodka.
• Dim Sums- Steamed dumplings containing a variety of ingredients are Chinese appetizers which are now available across the globe.
• Samosa- Tiny triangular fritter made of refined flour and stuffed with cooked vegetables is a popular Indian snack item that is frequently served at cocktail parties.
Commercial Availability Of Appetizers
Various fast food chains as well as other commercial establishments that specialize in ready to eat snack items have started selling appetizers of late. Some of the most popular commercial stores that offer ready to eat hors d'œuvres are:-
• Papa Gino’s- Specializes in Italian food including appetizers.
• McDonald’s- Sells hamburgers, sandwiches, wraps and dessert items.
• Saladworks- Famous for its entrée level snack items which include soups, wraps and a variety of salads.
• Moe’s Southwest Grill- A Tex Mex chain which serves Mexican hors d'œuvres like the Tacos and Burritos.
• KFC- A world famous food chain it specializes in chicken entrees especially fried chicken and sandwiches.
Certain drugs that aid in digestion when taken orally just prior to a meal are also known as appetizers.