Quick Recipes and Easy

Appa Teasers to Tease Your Palate

There are so many different names for appetizers. You can call them finger foods or tapas or dim sum or hors d’ oeuvres but they are still the morsels and tidbits that often precede a main meal. But, appetizers can in themselves provide a fabulous and fascinating complete meal.

There are probably thousands of types of hors d’ oeuvres served by American caterers that run the gamut of ethnic and American cuisines. Any given caterer usually has about 50 different items in their repertoire. And some caterers will have at least one specialty appetizer that is made with proprietary ingredients or methods. Of course presentation on the platter can make the same finger food look more appetizing when offered by one caterer over another so the best tasting food won’t always be what you choose.

Remember franks in blankets on one end and caviar on the other? This was standard fare from the 1960′s. Today there are a plethora of finger foods options – sushi, dolmades, mini-sandwiches, pita or tortilla wraps, peanut chicken satay, spicy meatballs, falafel, spicy veggie balls, and salmon en croute. Choosing what to serve has never been so complicated.

Reckon about an evening wedding or other event where food is served. Often there is a cocktail hour held before the formal sit-down meal. Finger foods are provided so that guests can chat with a drink in one hand, and a tasty tidbit in the other. Who needs plates and forks? And then, the guests go to another room for the formal meal.

It is acceptable to do things differently. Many hosts are shying away from providing a plated meal after the cocktail hour. Instead, they give a lavish appetizer buffet or passed hors d’ oeuvres or both, lasting for the entire event. The guests leave sated, fewer servers are needed and fewer dishes need to be cleaned as you can use high quality disposables. This works even if you still have the same table set up for guest seating that would be at a “sit-down” event.

While it may be painstaking to make each individual bites and have them look perfect and delectable, making a formal served meal also has its challenges and is typically more expensive. So, you can merely tease your guests with appetizers, or go the distance and make the meal incredibly exciting by serving finger foods exclusively.

Copyright 2007 by Mindy Makuta. Mindy and her husband own a small resort in Lyons, Colorado where they host outdoor weddings and family reunions. For more thoughts on plotting a wedding and beyond, see weddingsandromance.com WeddingsandRomance.com, her web-site which covers topics of concern for before, during and after the wedding. They also publish 168colorado.com 168colorado.com, a site that helps plot Colorado vacations, including referrals for where to stay and what to do when you get there.

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