Snack is a food item that is ideally had in between mail meals, but can be had during any time or occasion. It is a light variety of food as compared to meals or main dishes. Snack can be an ideal choice of food to satisfy temporary hunger pangs during work or travel. Snack food pair well with wines. They can be accompanied with more side dishes or condiments such as sauce. Snack recipes are varied across all parts of the world.

History of Snack

It is really hard to trace the dates or time when snack originated as such. Snacks evolved as cuisines evolved. The history of a few varieties of snacks around the world is as below:

·         Fruits were eaten as snack by many ancient civilizations including Egyptians, Romans, Babylonians and Greeks. Vegetables were also eaten by them as snack either raw or in cooked form. The fruits included apples, oranges, pears, apricots, dates, grapes, pomegranates, peaches and watermelon.

·         Meat preparations also constituted snack recipes during ancient times. The meats used to make snack food were commonly pork, goat, beef, poultry (chicken, duck, turkey and peacock), species of deer and seafood. However Egyptians avoided seafood due to various religious sentiments.

·         Snacks were part of meals between 16th and 19th Century in England. During 18th Century people had light snacks constituting bread, honey, butter, cheese and fruit for supper. Snacks were also had during evening tea in European countries such as England, France and Germany. With the advent of industrial revolution, the working class people had snacks during midday and late afternoons. In Europe, a snack constituted any amongst cookies, cakes, pastries, fries, bread and other baked products.

·         Post World War II America witnessed a great revolution in food culture. Snack food became very frequent as the culture of three square meals began to diminish.

·         Today snack food is made and served at fast food joints- the thriving food junctions of the world.

Snacks in Different Cuisines

As discussed above, a snack is of several types of in different cuisines.

·         In America snacks mostly do not constitute a meal. They may comprise of sandwiches, cakes, fritters, etc. American snacks may range from sweet to spicy. Potato chips, beef jerky, and salted peanuts are a few common American snack dishes. Snack food industry in America is a thriving industry with many American fast food companies such as Mc Donald opening outlets even in regions outside America.

·         Continental snacks comprise meat in most recipes. Dairy products, meat products, flour breads and fries are common features in continental snacks. French bread, Italian pasta, deep-fried potatoes and grilled steak are some of the popular continental snack recipes.

·         In Chinese, Dimsum is an alternate word for snack. It is a Cantonese term originally. Dimsums are prepared by conventional Chinese cooking methods including steaming, stewing, frying and baking. In China food such as nuts, plums, dried fruit, small sweets, melon seeds and waxberry are had as snacks along with tea.

·         Japanese snacks include Beans- Beano,Edamame, Kaki peanuts,Toriaezu Edamame and Botamochi ; Bread- Kappa Ebisen, Koala's March, Pocky Pretz, Yan Yan ; Potato snacks such as -Kataage Potato, Bōkun Habanero, Jagariko ; Kara Mucho and Suppa Mucho, Pote Long and Wasabeef ; Street food-Korokke,Takoyaki,Nikuman, Taiyaki, Ōbanyaki.

·         Indian snacks are diversified, colourful and flavourful. South Indian snacks include- appalam, vadam, murukku, nippattu, chakkuli, puri laddu, rava laddu, avalakki, maddur vada, banana chips, chegodlu, gavvalu, mysorepak. North Indian snacks include- Sev, Pani puri, bhel puri, pav bhaji, channa batura, singada and samosa, kachori and namkeens. West Indian snacks include- churmuri, chiwda, besan ladoo, tepla, khakra, vada pav, batata vada, chats and namkeens. East Indian snacks include- bhujia, chops, singada, rasagullas, dahi puri, mishti doi, shukto, poshto.

·         The snack is a remarkable featureof the Philippine cuisine . Some popular snack recipesfrom Philippines include those for Lumpia which are spring rolls, Siomai(a local version of Chinese snack shaomai), Fresh lumpia (lumpiang sariwa) usually made for fiestas, kebabs made from meat and vegetables such as raw banana and sweet potato, turon, Taho, boiled and fried eggs, okoy, etc.

·         In America snack food is categorized as fast food and junk food mostly. They are regulated by rules formed by FDA and USDA.

Popular Snack Recipes

·         Butter Recipe Chocolate Snacking Cake is a tempting snack recipe that is made from Butter Recipe Fudge Cake Mix, egg whites and marshmallows.

·         Clam snacks are simple and easy to make snacks made from French fried clams and cocktail sauce.

·         Mexican snack mix is an interesting snack food made from salted peanuts, cereal, sunflower kernels, corn nuts and seasonings.

·         Cracker snack is a crunchy Southern USA snack made from oyster crackers. Ranch style salad dressing and other seasonings are used to spice up the snack.

Snack: Trivia

·         Potato chips were invented in "The Moon Lake Lodge" in Saratoga, New York on August 24, 1853.

·         Popcorn that is flavored with both salt and granulated sugar is called Kettle corn.

·         Strains of popcorn were first developed by Pre-Columbian Native Americans in Mexico.

·         The shape of the original pretzel is that of a child's arms crossed in prayer.