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Mike Berry
Mike Berry

Foods and Nutrition
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Foods and Nutrition » Appetizers and Hors d'oeuvres

Appetizers and Hors d'oeuvres


Your job today is to look up many appetizer recipes online. I have some great links at the bottom of the page, but feel free to look up others!

Write one down on a card so you can get your recipe card points this Friday. 

Next, decide as a group which 1 or 2 recipes you'd like to make this Friday.

You can choose to make up to 2 items, as long as you PLAN the preparation, cooking time, and clean-up time accordingly.


You should also have time to do your Culinary Terms in class today.

Appetizers and Hors d'ouvres


  • Eating small portions of food dates back centuries and was practiced by many early civilizations. The tapas of Spain and Portugal were introduced by King Alfonso the 10th, who suffered from a stomach ailment that necessitated eating small portions. Early tapas consisted of cured olives, preserved anchovies, ham, cheese and almonds and were served with wine or beer.

    The term hors d'oeuvre is French for "outside the works" and originally referred to buildings outside a main structure. It is now a common culinary phrase for small foods served outside the main meal. Greeks and Southwest Asians call their finger foods "meze," and the assortment usually includes stuffed grape leaves and grilled sausages. Russians refer to appetizers as "zakuski," which conventionally includes pickled and smoked fish and fresh vegetables served with vodka or champagne.


  • How extensive appetizer selections are depends on the setting. If they are meant to whet the appetite before a main meal, they are typically light and limited. Conversely, appetizers served at cocktail parties are more bountiful and heavier as they replace a meal such as lunch or dinner and decelerate the effects of alcohol. Appetizers can be as simple as chips and dip or bowls of roasted nuts or extravagant concoctions of meat, seafood and exotic cheeses, fruits and vegetables. Mixing hot and cold hors d'oeuvres is common as is offering low calories selections alongside more indulgent ones.

Portions and Plating

  • If appetizers are served before a meal, figure on five to seven portions per person. For finger foods featured at cocktail parties, prepare 10 to 12 servings per guest. Offer sturdy small plates to securely hold the food as people mingle and sip cocktails and have enough dishes for people to use different plates throughout the event. For events that last over two hours, consider presenting a selection of finger food sweets to wrap up the festivities.


  • Buffets are good ways to present appetizers as people can serve themselves and socialize while making selections. More formal settings have a wait staff offering hors d'oeuvres to guests on platters or at serving stations. Since people are generally mobile while consuming appetizers, keep the selections simple to eat with fingers and avoid sauces and gravies that create spills and drips.

101 Simple Appetizers in 20 minutes or less

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