Small appetizers, big effect: You will convince your guests with these appetizer ideas.
Appetizers are small snacks that can often be eaten without any cutlery. In gastronomy, they are usually used as a starter, but can also replace an entire main meal.
Appetizer – uncomplicated finger food for your guests
Whether it’s onion rings, canapés – bite-sized sandwiches – or the classic skewer with grapes and cheese: Appetizers, small bites that are served before the actual meal, are used in gastronomy to whet the appetite of the guests. The appetizers are also ideal for bridging any waiting time that may be necessary. The term appetizer is often used as a synonym for starter, as it is difficult to make a clear distinction. Depending on the national cuisine, other names are also common.
- In France, appetizers are also called hors d’oeuvre, amuse-bouche or amuse-gueule.
- Antipasti are typical of Italy.
- In Spain there is tapas.
- In Switzerland, chefs serve canapés.
- In Russia there is sakuska.
- And in the Arab world, so-called mezze is served.
Appetizers are usually served as finger food. Because thanks to the small portion size, the guest can easily eat the appetizers with one or two bites – the help of a knife and fork is usually not necessary. In principle, however, soups or salads can also be offered in small glasses as appetizers. In this case, of course, a spoon or fork is a must. Appetizers are also ideal for buffets. Vegan, gluten-free, with meat, fish or without sugar – everything is possible! Restaurateurs should make the choice of the served appetizers dependent primarily on the preferences of their guests.
A “flying buffet” is also a good idea for company parties, standing receptions and other events in a relaxed atmosphere. The small appetizers are brought directly to the guest with the help of bar tables and trays. The service staff remains discreetly in the background, the exchange between the guests is not disturbed when serving.
Use appetizers sensibly: You should pay attention to this
Creative recipes and ideas have contributed to the fact that the importance of appetizers in gastronomy has changed over time: the snacks no longer play a minor role, but have increasingly developed into the main actor on the menu. After all, many small bites add up to a complete meal. In addition, the clear portion sizes open up numerous possibilities for cooks to combine different flavors into a successful unit.
The catering trade can now fall back on a large selection of high-quality convenience products as an alternative to fresh food. Above all, this saves time, but also resources and may therefore make more economic sense for many companies. In addition, there is the advantage that the appetizers are available much more quickly, which meets the needs of the guests.
Onion rings and other appetizers that are served with dip are associated with a high potential for individualization. Instead of only offering ketchup, mayo / vegan mayo and other classics as sauces, it is conceivable to let the guest individually select their favorites (or several) from a range of dips.
In any case, it is important that the appetizer develops its full flavor nuances with the first bite. Intense aromas and a balanced composition are the be-all and end-all here. Due to the small portion size, the appetizers have to impress the guest immediately. It is particularly recommended if the appetizer not only works on its own, but can also be used as an ingredient for other dishes, for example. In this way, internal kitchen processes can be made even more efficient.
Onion rings: The all-rounder among appetizers
One dish that ticks all of these boxes is onion rings. The snack works as an appetizer for the drink (e.g. as a contrast to the usual nuts and chips), tastes good on its own and as a special ingredient for burgers, salads, sandwiches and soups it provides more flavors and an interesting texture. Onion rings (preferably served with a dip) are also ideally suited as an individually selectable menu accompaniment. So it’s no wonder that fried onion rings have long topped the list of most popular appetizers in the United States.